US targets Iran's tourism; airlines halt service
The US government says it has sanctioned a Malaysia-based tourism agent for Iranian private airline Mahan Air which is already under American sanctions.
The blockade comes as the US prepares to unleash “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran after President Donald Trump decided to withdraw Washington from a landmark nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.
“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of Mahan Travel and Tourism Sdn Bhd that are or come within US jurisdiction are blocked,” the US Treasury Department said in a statement on Monday.
The first group of unilateral US sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector, gold trade, and other industries will “snap back” on August 4. Further sanctions on oil and transactions with the Central Bank of Iran will come into effect November 6.
Trump has given companies 180 days to wind down their businesses in Iran or have their trade severed with the US.
Europe has pledged to put together an economic package for Iran so that the country benefits from staying in the deal but France said on Friday the offer was unlikely to come by before November.
Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said the Europeans would not be able to fully compensate for companies leaving Iran due to new US sanctions.