More than a dozen companies based in China, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were hit by US sanctions on Thursday accused of facilitating the sale of Iranian petrochemicals and oil products to buyers in East Asia.
The latest US move against Iranian oil smuggling comes at a time when Iran’s efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have stalled and ties between Tehran and the West are increasingly strained as Iranians continue anti-government protests.
Washington has increasingly targeted Chinese companies over Iran’s petrochemical exports as hopes of reviving the nuclear deal have waned.
The 13 companies identified on Thursday are facilitating the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products to buyers in East Asia on behalf of companies under US sanctions, including the National Iranian Oil Company and the National Iranian Oil Company, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement. Triliance Petrochemical Ltd.
“Today’s action further demonstrates Iran’s complex sanctions methods used to illegally sell its oil and petrochemical products,” said Brian Nelson, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
“The United States will continue to impose sanctions against actors who facilitate these sales,” he said.
Among those identified are the Treasury Department’s Triliance Petrochemical Co. There were also companies based in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, which he accused of being affiliated with.
Among those targeted was Dubai-based Access Technology Trading LLC, which the Treasury accused of purchasing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of petrochemical products from the US-sanctioned Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Trade Inc. for shipment to China.
China-based East Asia Trading Import and Export Trade Co., Ltd. is also on the list, and Washington accuses him of facilitating oil shipments to a foreign customer for the National Iranian Oil Company and its marketing arm.
Thursday’s move freezes all US assets of designated individuals, often preventing Americans from transacting with them. Those who engage in certain transactions with companies also face the risk of sanctions.
Daily Morning Bulletin
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