An advocacy group that warns about the threat of a nuclear Iran has sounded the alarm after the US Treasury Department last week without explanation lifted sanctions on two firms that produced ballistic missiles for the Iranian regime.
United Against Nuclear Iran is questioning why the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFA) suddenly announced it would be removing sanctions on Mammut Industrial Group and its subsidiary Mammut Diesel.
Both companies were sanctioned in September 2020 for “providing support to an entity in Iran’s ballistic missile program.”
The Treasury Department said at the time that “Mammut Industries and Mammut Diesel are key producers and suppliers of military-grade, dual-use goods for Iran’s missile programs.”
“The delisting follows the July 2021 lifting of sanctions on three Iranians who were major shareholders and executives of the Mammut Industrial Group,” United Against Nuclear Iran said in a statement.
“The Biden Administration has thus far not been forthcoming on the reasons behind the lifting of these sanctions, and it has not confirmed that the delisted individuals and entities have verifiably ceased their sanctionable behavior," the advocacy group said. "At the same time, the administration denied that its actions are indicative of a broader shift in Iran sanctions policy or are in any way linked to inducements to bring Tehran back to stalled nuclear negotiations.”
The group called for the White House to release more information about why the decision was necessary.
“Reducing economic pressure on Tehran absent meaningful behavioral change would signal to the Iranian regime that it can extract concessions from the U.S. through its intransigence,” they said.
They called on the Biden administration to show full transparency about the context within which the companies and individuals connected to Iran’s missile programs were delisted.
They also urged the White House to “reaffirm its commitment to bringing all the pressure at its disposal to bear on disrupting Iran’s development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.”
“Rather than undoing sanctions, the Biden administration should prepare to wage a full-scale diplomatic offensive in favor of extending the Iranian ballistic missile development restrictions contained in UN Security Council Resolution 2231 – set to expire just 24 months from now,” they said.