The US Department of the Treasury removed a large Iranian industrial group from its list of sanctions on Friday, as nuclear talks with Iran remain suspended.
An announcement by the Treasury said the Mammut Industrial Group, also known as Mammut Industries and its subsidiaries were no longer under United States sanctions.
Mammut Industries and three of its main executives/shareholders were put in the sanctions list in were sanctioned in September 2020 by the Trump administrationpursuant to Executive Order 13382, issued by President George Bush in 2005, targeting “weapons of mass destruction and their proliferators and supporters.” The executive order threatened fines, imprisonment, and freezing assets.
The Mammut Industrial Group and its subsidiaries are private companies with thousands of employees in Iran, were accused by the US to have supplied "military-grade, dual-use goods" to Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization and specifically, Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, which makes liquid-propelled missiles.
In early July, the three individuals, Behzad Daniel Ferdows, Mehrzad Manuel Ferdows, and Mohammad-Reza Dezfulian were all excluded from the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
At the time, the Treasury in a statement said that "These delistings do not reflect any change in US government sanctions policy towards Iran,” a Treasury spokesman told Reuters anonymously. “They have nothing to do with ongoing JCPOA negotiations in Vienna.”
The Biden Administration, refuting former president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018, announced its intention to return to the agreement. A round of talks began in Vienna with the participation of the remaining signatories of the deal, with the US indirectly negotiating with Iran on the sidelines.
After six rounds of talks Iran suspended the meetings in June saying its new president needed time to form a government. But two months after Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi) came to office, Tehran is still not ready to resume negotiations.
The United States and its European allies have become concerned and have been urging Iran to return to the negotiating table, citing Tehran’s continued enrichment of uranium.
The Treasury’s announcement on Friday did not provide any explanation for the removal of Mammut and its subsidiaries, simply listing the delisted entities with their legal names and addresses.