US Imposes New Sanctions Against Iran, Claiming ‘Nuclear Escalation’

By Jason Ditz

The US State Department has announced, as threatened earlier this month, a new round of sanctions against Iran, claiming it was the result of “nuclear escalations.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Iran announced expansions that had “no credible peaceful purpose.”

The IAEA had informed the US and others that Iran was installing additional centrifuge cascades. The cascades have been installed as part of Iran trying to trigger a remedial action from the rest of the parties of the JCPOA nuclear deal to negotiate the fact that many of those parties, notably the three European parties, never honored the deal for sanctions relief.

In trying to force the talks, Iran increased uranium enrichment, though still far short of the 90-95% generally recognized as weapons-grade. So far, the three European nations have just threatened Iran and accused them of being out of keeping with the spirit of the deal. The US imposes new sanctions regularly as well, though of course the US already dishonored the nuclear deal years ago.

Incredibly, Blinken continued to play up the false allegation of Iran seeking nuclear weapons, presenting the sanctions as part of US action to prevent that from happening, even though the reports from the US Director of National Intelligence have repeatedly insisted Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons at all.

The JCPOA was meant to offer Iran substantial sanction relief and a path to international normalization in return for implementing measures in its civilian nuclear program above and beyond what any other nation has ever been expected to submit to. The US, however, blocked the sanctions relief from the beginning, and has been threatening Iran as a consequence.

Iran’s civilian nuclear program is meant to provide fuel for its nuclear energy program and to produce nuclear isotopes for medical purposes. The nation has sought to be as self-reliant as possible because in the past the West has seized their nuclear assets. The JCPOA was also meant to guarantee them access to the international market for obtaining nuclear fuel.

The new sanctions target three UAE-based companies which are accused of transporting Iranian oil. Since Iran’s economy is heavily reliant on oil exports, blocking such exports is a go-to action for the US in trying to impose harsh sanctions.

Source: Antiwar

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.

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