The United States has removed sanctions on three Iranians but said the move had nothing to do with talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The three Iranians -- Behzad Ferdows, Mehrzad Ferdows, and Mohammad Reza Dezfulian -- are no longer blocked under an executive order targeting proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters, the U.S. Treasury Department said on July 2.
The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the Iranians in September. It said Behzad Ferdows and Mehrzad Ferdows were shareholders in Mammut Industries, which the department said provided support to Iran’s ballistic missile program.
It said Dezfulian was managing director of Mammut Diesel, a subsidiary of Mammut Industries.
The September order froze any U.S. assets they may hold and barred U.S. persons from dealing with them.
A Treasury spokesperson quoted by Reuters said that the decision to drop the three from its sanctions list did not reflect any change in U.S. government sanctions policy toward Iran and had nothing to do with talks on reviving the deal that have been taking place in Vienna.
Iran and other remaining participants in the deal have been holding the talks. The United States has been participating indirectly. Under the agreement, restrictions were imposed on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting international sanctions.
Top Iranian officials last month signaled that progress has been made at the talks, but Western countries have said hurdles remain. No date has been set for the next round.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the pact in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions, prompting Tehran to gradually reduce its nuclear commitments under the deal.
U.S. Drops Sanctions On Three Iranians, Says Move Not Linked To Talks To Revive Nuclear Deal