General Electric is reportedly planning to end all energy equipment sales to Iran and close its Tehran office due to pressure stemming from U.S. sanctions imposed on the Islamic regime.
The Wall Street Journal writes:
GE’s foreign subsidiaries were preparing up to $150 million in bids for pipelines, compressors and subsea equipment in Iran and had been in talks with an Iranian manufacturer to make energy equipment, the people said. The company has all but abandoned those plans, the people said, since President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that the U.S. would pull out of the nuclear deal and impose strong new sanctions against Iran and companies doing business there.
“We are adapting our activities in Iran as necessary to conform with recent changes in U.S. law,” said a spokesperson for the conglomerate, adding, “GE’s activities in Iran to date have been limited and in compliance with U.S. government rules, licenses and policies.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury placed several Iranian state groups on its sanctions blacklist, accusing them of serious human rights abuses and censorship.
In the latest of a series of actions meant to increase pressure on the Tehran regime, the Treasury Department named the semi-official paramilitary group Ansar-e-Hezbollah and three of its leaders to its sanctions list.
The goal is to lock those who are blacklisted out of the global financial and commercial system.
Ansar-e-Hezbollah is “an organization supported by the Iranian regime that harasses and attacks the Iranian people,” the Treasury said, citing its alleged role in acid attacks against women seen as improperly dressed in Isfahan, and other violent attacks on student protestors.
The Treasury also sanctioned Tehran’s Evin Prison, used to house political prisoners, saying people held there are subject to sexual assaults, physical assaults, and electric shock.
“Treasury is taking action to hold the Iranian regime accountable for ongoing human rights abuses, censorship, and other despicable acts it commits against its own citizens,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.
Wednesday’s announcement added to a series of moves to increase political and economic pressure on Tehran after President Donald Trump’s May 8 decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord.
Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.