U.S. lifts some Iran sanctions amid stalled nuclear talks

The Biden administration lifted sanctions on three former Iranian officials and several energy companies amid stalled nuclear negotiations, signaling Washington’s willingness to further ease economic pressure on Iran if the country changes course.

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday repealed sanctions on former senior National Iranian Oil Co. officials and several companies involved in shipping and trading petrochemical products. The administration described the moves as routine administrative actions, saying the officials were removed from U.S. blacklists because they no longer held positions in the sanctioned entities.

But officials familiar with talks under way in Vienna on the future of the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear agreement said the Biden administration has been looking at how it could inject momentum into the negotiations. Oil prices tumbled nearly 2% after the news, but quickly regained their losses, continuing to trade over $70 a barrel.

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