The US Treasury Department said 39 entities granted Iran access to the international financial system.
The United States has imposed sanctions on 39 entities, many based in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, which Washington says facilitate Iran’s access to the global financial system, describing them as a “banking network parallel” that moves billions of dollars.
The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement on Thursday that those targeted by the sanctions had granted companies previously hit with Iran-linked sanctions – such as Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co (PGPICC) and Triliance Petrochemical Co Ltd – l access to the international financial system. and helped them hide their trade with foreign customers.
The latest US move against Iran comes as efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have stalled, while ties between the Islamic Republic and the West have become increasingly strained as Iranians continue anti-government protests.
Washington has targeted Chinese companies for exporting Iranian petrochemicals as prospects for reviving the nuclear pact have faded.
“Iran cultivates complex sanctions-busting networks where foreign buyers swap homes and dozens of front companies cooperatively help sanctioned Iranian companies continue to trade,” Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said.
He said the new measures showed the United States’ commitment to enforcing the sanctions and its “ability to disrupt Iran’s foreign financial networks, which it uses to launder funds.”
Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, said the US actions had no basis in international law and were “typical unilateral sanctions and illegal ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ harmful”. to Chinese interests.
“We deplore and reject this decision,” he said, adding that China has “actively promoted peace talks and sought a political solution” in Ukraine, while the United States “has fanned the flames and fueled combat with more weapons”.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Thursday’s decision freezes all U.S. assets of designated individuals and generally bars Americans from doing business with them. Those who engage in certain transactions with them also risk being hit with penalties.
Many of the entities designated Thursday are based in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, according to the Treasury website. The Treasury has accused companies operating out of Hong Kong – including Foraben Trading Limited, Hongkong Well International Trading Limited and Salita Trade Limited – of moving millions of dollars related to petrochemical sales to China.
Treasury Department senior sanctions official Brian Nelson visited the United Arab Emirates earlier this year, where he planned to warn officials of ‘poor sanctions compliance’, a department spokesperson said. at the time.
Nelson also visited Turkey on the trip to warn that Washington will continue to aggressively enforce its sanctions.
Among those named on Thursday were two Turkey-based entities and Iranian company Mehr Petrochemical.
Brian O’Toole, a former Treasury Department official, said Thursday’s action would hurt Iran’s ability to continue to transport oil and get paid for it.
“It’s a big deal because this kind of thing should impact what Iran is able to sell,” O’Toole said.