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The U.S. Department of Treasury this week imposed more oil and petrochemical industry sanctions on Iran amid stalled nuclear negotiations.
"While the United States is committed to achieving an agreement with Iran that seeks a mutual return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will continue to use all our authorities to enforce sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemicals," said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.
In a news release, the Treasury said it would sanction an international network of companies and individuals involved in the marketing of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products in East Asia.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a tweet that the U.S. is imposing the sanctions "absent a commitment from Iran to return to the JCPOA."
The latest round of talks between Iran and the U.S. facilitated by the European Union ended inconclusively last week, with participants saying they would resume soon.
Meanwhile, Iran has stepped up its demands on the U.S. side, according to the U.S. Special Envoy for Iran—demands that have nothing to do with the nuclear deal.
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"They have, including in Doha, added demands that I think anyone looking at this would be viewed as having nothing to do with the nuclear deal, things that they've wanted in the past," Robert Malley told NPR this week.
"The discussion that really needs to take place right now is not so much between us and Iran, although we're prepared to have that; it's between Iran and itself, that they need to come to a conclusion about whether they are now prepared to come back into compliance with the deal, if we're prepared to do the same, and we've said we are," the Special Envoy for Iran also said.
Iran's Foreign Minister, who led the latest talks with the EU, said, as quoted by Reuters, that "We are prepared to resume talks in the coming days. What is important for Iran is to fully receive the economic benefits of the 2015 accord."
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.