U.S. sanctions are creating payment problems for Iran as more than 20 ships carrying an estimated 1 million tons of grain are stuck outside of Iranian ports, sources involved in the trade told Reuters in an exclusive report on Thursday.

These sanctions are scaring away foreign banks from doing business with Iran. Six Western and Iranian sources said that as a result of the measures, goods are being held up for more than a month outside of Iran’s largest port cities: Bandar Imam Khomeini and Bandar Abbas.

America has ramped up sanctions  since pulling the country out of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal reached with world powers.

“There are no restrictions on humanitarian business, but you can’t get paid for it,” said one European source, according to the report.

A senior Iranian port official told Reuters, “What has changed is that now the number of banks, traders that are staying away from doing business with Iran is increasing. Some small banks that we used to work with have informed us that they will no longer do business with us.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said on Wednesday that the only way to bring calm to the Middle East is to counter Israel.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran sees countering Israel’s destructive, interfering and inhumane actions by all parties as the only way to de-escalate tensions in the region,” said Mousavi, reported Iran’s Fars News Agency.

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