In response to Iran's efforts to enhance its uranium enrichment capacity as part of its nuclear program expansion, the sanctions were imposed on three companies and 11 ships. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the US's commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and indicated readiness to employ all elements of national power to achieve this goal. "As President Biden and the other leaders of the G7 stated earlier this month, Iran must cease its escalations regarding its nuclear program as well as its other destabilizing actions," Blinken said.

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The sanctioned companies, all based in the United Arab Emirates, are Sea Route Ship Management, Almanac Ship Management, and Al Anchor Ship Management. The ships identified as blocked property include the Astra, Baltic Horizon, Nile, Yamuna, Berenice Pride, Harmony, Euro Viking, Euro Fortune, Arabian Energy, Parine, and Road.

Despite these sanctions, Iranian oil continues to flow. Under President Joe Biden's administration, hundreds of Iranian entities, ships, and individuals accused of transporting and selling Iranian oil have been sanctioned. These sanctions also target those allegedly using the proceeds to fund arms provisions to Russia and regional proxy groups like Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

However, experts question the full enforcement of these sanctions by US leadership, who are cautious of potential price increases in the global crude oil market. Iran has developed new methods to evade sanctions and continues to sell oil to non-Western partners.

Brenda Shaffer, an energy expert at the US Naval Postgraduate School, commented on June 25, when the US sanctioned a shadow banking network allegedly used by Iran to launder oil proceeds. Shaffer told S&P Global Commodity Insights that these measures might not represent a significant escalation in their impact. "Adding to the weakness of sanctions is the growing cooperation between Iran, Russia, and China," Shaffer said. "These countries do not need Western banks and financial systems to move money between them and to the proxies."

In May, Iran announced plans to increase its oil output by 400,000 barrels per day. The latest Platts OPEC+ survey by Commodity Insights reported Iranian crude production at 3.17 million barrels per day in May, up from 2.66 million barrels per day in May 2023.