The Treasury Department published new guidance for businesses that said some previously prohibited dollar transactions with Iran by offshore banking institutions are allowed as long as they do not enter the US financial system, AP reported on Saturday.
The clarifications from Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control also removed a blanket ban on foreign transactions with Iranian firms that may be controlled by individuals who remain subject to US sanctions.
Despite the nuclear agreement, which gave sanctions relief to Iran in return for it curtailing its nuclear program, the US maintains sanctions on Iran and certain Iranian companies and people.
The new Treasury language says foreign transactions with non-sanctioned entities that are nonetheless "minority owned" or "controlled in whole or in part by an Iranian" are "not necessarily sanctionable" under US regulations.
The new steps by the US Treasury come amid growing complaints from Iran that it is not getting the sanctions relief it deserves under the nuclear deal because remaining US sanctions have scared foreign companies from doing business in or with the country.
Iran and the P5+1 group – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia plus Germany – reached the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on July 14, 2015.
Since January, the IAEA, which is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the JCPOA, has released regular reports confirming the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities and its commitment to the agreement.