The Trump administration has renewed a necessary waiver regarding U.S. sanctions on Iran’s crude oil exports. This will allow Iran to continue to sell its oil in the international market despite existing U.S. sanctions that must be periodically waived under the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), however, has placed two senior Iranian defense officials on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List for their involvement in Iran’s solid-fueled ballistic missile program. Morteza Farasatpour, a senior defense official with Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO) and Rahim Ahmadi, a senior official serving as the Director of Iran’s Shahid Bakeri Industries Group (SBIG), along with Iran-based company Matin Sanat Nik Andishan, have been placed on the SDN List for activities in support of Iran’s ballistic missile program.
These actions were taken in conjunction with the State Department’s release of its semi-annual report to Congress detailing sanctions imposed on persons responsible for or complicit in human rights abuses committed against citizens of Iran or their family members.
As a reminder to our readers, on Friday, May 19, Iran will hold its presidential vote that could also have a major impact on the status of the nuclear deal. Current President Hassan Rouhani, considered a moderate who oversaw the negotiation and implementation of the nuclear deal, is running for re-election. While he faces competition from several other candidates, his principal challenger is hardline conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi.