U.S. sanctions Belarus company on Iran


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States sanctioned a state-owned energy company in Belarus for doing business with Iran.

Belarusneft entered into a $500 million contract with the NaftIran Intertrade Company in 2007 for the development of the Jofeir oilfield in Iran, the State Department said in an announcement Tuesday. The State Department said it conducted a thorough review to confirm its findings.

The sanctions threshold for such investments is $20 million.

Under the sanctions, Belarusneft cannot do business with any U.S. company under penalty of law.

"This is an appropriate response to Iran’s longstanding use of its oil and gas sector to facilitate its proliferation activities and thereby its noncompliance with its nuclear obligations," the statement said.

The statement noted divestments from Iran’s energy sector since President Obama signed an enhanced sanctions act last summer, including by five major companies in Norway, Japan, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

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