Iran asks OPEC support amid US sanctions

Sputnik – Reacting to the recent wave of US sanctions, announced earlier in the day by the Treasury Department, Iran’s oil minister has asked OPEC to support his country against what he called “illegal, unilateral and extraterritorial sanctions”.

“I would like to… seek OPEC’s support in accordance with Article 2 of the OPEC Statute, which emphasizes safeguarding the interests of member countries individually and collectively,” Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh wrote in a letter to the United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei, who holds OPEC presidency in 2018.

Earlier in the day, the US Treasury Department declared new US sanctions against Iran, citing what they called “ongoing human rights abuses, censorship, and other despicable acts it commits against its own citizens”.

The latest wave of US sanctions targeted, in particular, six individuals and three companies: Director-General of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Abdulali Ali-Asgari, Ansar-e Hezbollah leaders Hossein Allahkarah, Abdolhamid Mohtasham and Hamid Ostad, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Cyberspace Council Abolhassan Firouzabadi and Iranian judiciary official Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, as well as Ansar-e Hezbollah, Evin Prison, Hanista Programming Group, Al-Bilad Islamic Bank for Investment and Finance, Al-Naser Airlines and Dart Airlines.

US Sanctions Against Iran

Washington has been tightening the screw of sanctions against Iran since US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, as known as the Iran nuclear deal. In particular, the Treasury specified these measures were implemented as a part of the US president’s “aggressive campaign” against Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

On May 22, Washington imposed sanctions on five members of the IRGC over their alleged efforts to provide missile support to Yemen’s Houthi militants. Previously, the Treasury sanctioned six individuals, including Valiollah Seif, the head of Iran’s central bank, over alleged ties to the IRGC and the Hezbollah movement, which Washington considers to be a terrorist group.