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Iran's Fars New Agency Says Its Website Blocked Due to Recent US Sanctions Against Country

MOSCOW (Sputnik) -  The Iranian Fars news agency wrote on its Telegram channel on Friday that its website was blocked after the US Treasury Department introduced sanctions against the country.

According to Fars, an international provider sent it an email saying that the reason for blocking the website was the order by the OFAC and the agency's inclusion into its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.

At the same time, the agency reported that its website with .com domain was blocked.

On Thursday, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said that the United States had imposed new Iran-related sanctions against six international petrochemical and petroleum companies and two persons accused of helping Iran skirt sanctions.

US-Iran Tensions

Relations between Iran and the United States deteriorated in 2018 when the latter unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with the Middle Eastern country and re-introduced wide-ranging sanctions against Tehran. Washington vowed to drive Iran's oil exports down to zero and demanded that other countries stop any purchases from that country or risk being sanctioned.

A year after the US withdrew from the JCPOA, Tehran began reducing its obligations under the deal and said it would continue to do so unless the agreement signatories guaranteed its interests. At the same time, Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said that despite the rollback, Tehran was not interested in possessing nuclear weapons.

Tensions between the two countries heightened again after a targeted US drone strike in Baghdad killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in early January, triggering a retaliatory attack by the Iranian military against two Iraqi bases housing US military personnel.

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