Biden ends Trump-backed sanctions against pair of Iranian companies

President Joe Biden has put an end to sanctions first put in place by the Trump administration on a pair of Iranian companies linked to the country’s missile programs.

According to The Hill, Mammut Industrial Group and Mammut Diesel will no longer be subject to sanctions from the U.S. under Biden’s new order.

The Treasury Department announced the decision on Friday. The Hill reports that “the delisting appears to be related to legal proceedings on behalf of the law firm Ferrari & Associates.”

The firm celebrated the victory on social media, writing in a tweet: “Happy for the delisting of our clients today, and proud of all our team who worked on this. Don’t listen to the hype from any purported ‘experts.’ This is not a political action, [it’s] one that followed established legal processes and norms.”

Trump-backed sanctions

Then-President Donald Trump had first placed the sanctions on the Iran-based companies back in September 2020. At the time, the Trump administration said the organizations were “key producers and suppliers of military-grade, dual-use goods for Iran’s missile programs,” as The Hill noted.

The sanctions were part of a pressure campaign that the Trump White House was waging against Iran. That effort also saw Trump withdraw the U.S. in 2018 from former President Barack Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plans of Action (JCPOA).

At the time, Trump said Iran was continuing to pursue nuclear weapons and not upholding its end of the bargain, according to The New York Times, and rather than ink a new deal, he opted to use sanctions as a punishment.

Biden’s new approach

Biden, however, is taking a different approach to Iran. As reports have noted, the president has been clear that he wants to get both the U.S. and Iran back into the JCPOA, a sign that he’s willing to be softer on the Middle Eastern nation than his immediate predecessor.

The Treasury, for its part, claims the recent decision to lift sanctions has nothing to do with a change in executive policy, however.

According to The Hill, a spokesperson for the department said that the delistings do not “reflect any change in U.S. government sanctions policy towards Iran.”

“They have nothing to do with JCPOA negotiation efforts,” the spokesperson added. “The United States will continue to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities, including through implementation of our sanctions,” they insisted.

But with Biden at the helm, we’ll have to see it to believe it.

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