The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on several companies, including from China, for helping one of Iran’s largest petrochemicals firms sell millions of dollars worth of Iranian products to East Asia.
The move is part of Washington’s efforts to cut off Iran’s oil revenues in the region.
The US Treasury Department in a statement accused the sanctioned companies of being used by Iran’s Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co. to facilitate sales of Iran’s oil and petrochemical products in East Asia.
Four Hong Kong companies are among those sanctioned, along with one from the United Arab Emirates and one from Singapore.
The sanctions freeze all US assets of those companies and generally bar Americans from doing business with them. Violators also risk receiving sanctions.
Since he was inaugurated in January 2021, US President Joe Biden has been reluctant to sanction Chinese entities involved in oil or petrochemical trade with Iran, hoping to resurrect world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
However, efforts to revive the pact, under which Iran reduced its nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions, have so far failed and Washington appears to be looking for other ways to pressure Iran.
“The United States continues to choose the path of diplomacy to achieve a return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in the statement, referring to the 2015 treaty. .
He added that “until such time as Iran is willing to return to full implementation of its commitments, we will continue to enforce sanctions on the illicit sale of Iranian oil and petrochemicals.”
Connect with the Voice of America! Subscribe to our channel YouTube and turn on notifications, or follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter e Instagram.