U.S. tightens sanctions regime on Iran through Belarus energy giant

The United States on Tuesday tightened the sanction regime on Iran with imposing further pressure through a Belarus energy company which had entered multi-million dollar contract with an Iranian entity, according to a U.S. State Department communique.

“The State Department is sanctioning Belarusneft, a state-owned Belarusian energy company, under the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) of 1996 as amended by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) of 2010, for its involvement in the Iranian petroleum sector,” said the statement.

Confirming that, “Belarusneft entered into a $500 million contract with the NaftIran Intertrade Company in 2007 for the development of the Jofeir oilfield in Iran,” the State Department noted that it had persuaded “five major multinational energy companies to pledge to end their investments in Iran and provide assurances not to undertake new energy-related activity in Iran that may be sanctionable.”

The companies are: Total of France, Statoil of Norway, ENI of Italy, Royal Dutch Shell of the Netherlands, and INPEX of Japan.

According to the State Department, this “direct engagement with companies and governments to enforce,” sanctions is bringing additional pressure on the government in Tehran.

“This is an appropriate response to Iran’s longstanding use of its oil and gas sector to facilitate its proliferation activities and thereby its noncompliance with its nuclear obligations,” the U.S. State Department further justified its actions against the Iranian regime.


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