Biden administration lifts sanctions on three Iranians in second round of relief

Announcement comes alongside fresh penalties on 22 officials in Myanmar

The US Treasury Department announced on Friday the lifting of sanctions on three Iranian industrial executives who had been previously penalised for supporting Iran’s ballistic missile programme, in the second such instance of sanctions relief since President Joe Biden entered office.

Without offering any explanation for its decision, the Biden administration removed the sanctions on Behzad Daniel Ferdows, Mehrzad Manuel Ferdows and Mohammed Reza Dezfulian.

The Associated Press reported that the three Iranian nationals were sanctioned by the Trump administration in September 2020 for their work with the Mammut Industrial Group and an affiliated company, Mammut Diesel.

These companies were identified by the Treasury as “key producers and suppliers of military-grade, dual-use goods for Iran’s missile programmes”.

This is the second time in less than a month that the Biden administration has revoked prior sanctions on Iran.

On June 10, the US lifted penalties on three former Iranian officials and a number of energy companies, saying that there had been changes in their behaviour and that they no longer met the criteria for sanctions.

The announcements come as the US and world powers are engaged in stalled nuclear negotiations with Iran, in which Tehran’s main ask has been significant sanctions relief.

The US Treasury Department was not immediately available for comment on the reasons behind the latest revocation of sanctions.

In the same announcement, fresh sanctions were placed on 22 of Myanmar's senior officials and their families due to the government’s crackdown on democracy protests after the coup in February.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington is committed to promoting accountability for Myanmar's military, the State Administration Council and all those who have provided support for the military coup.

“The United States will continue to urge the Burmese military to fully co-operate in expeditious implementation of the Asean Five Point Consensus, and immediately restore Burma’s path to democracy,” Mr Blinken said.

Updated: July 2nd 2021, 6:36 PM