U.S. imposes fresh Iran-related sanctions on four entities, envoy warns of more to come

FILE PHOTO: Elliott Abrams speaks during a news conference at the State Department, in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2020. Andrew Harnik/ Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday will impose Iran-related sanctions on four entities, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Elliott Abrams said, accusing the entities in China and Russia of activities promoting Iran’s missile program.

Abrams warned that Washington would continue to apply pressure on Iran, with sanctions expected over the coming weeks and through December and January related to arms, weapons of mass destruction and human rights.

“We will have next week, and the week after, and the week after – all through December and January, there will be sanctions that deal with arms, that deal with weapons of mass destruction, that deal with human rights. … So this will continue on for another couple of months, right until the end,” Abrams said during a virtual Beirut Institute event.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have risen since Trump two years ago abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear deal struck by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and restored harsh economic sanctions designed to force Tehran into a wider negotiation on curbing its nuclear program, development of ballistic missiles and support for regional proxy forces.

President-elect Joe Biden, set to take office on Jan. 20, has said he will return the United States to the nuclear deal, if Iran resumes compliance.

Abrams on Wednesday said it would be wrong to assume that a new administration could reverse Iran policy like switching a light and that negotiations to return to the Iran nuclear deal would take many months.

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