US Treasury sanctions Iranian petrochemical companies linked to Asia | New Policies

By FATIMA HUSSEIN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department said Wednesday it has sanctioned a group of front companies and individuals linked to the sale and shipment of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products to East Asia.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on several companies, including Iran’s Jam Petrochemical Co., which exported hundreds of millions of dollars worth of products to countries in Asia, including China.

The administration is using an August 2018 executive order signed by then-President Donald Trump as the authority to impose the sanctions.

The order addresses “the threats posed by Iran, including Iran’s proliferation and development of missiles and other asymmetric and conventional weapons capabilities, its network and its campaign of regional aggression”, and other issues.

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Brian E. Nelson, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement that while the United States “is committed to reaching an agreement with Iran that seeks a mutual return” to the Iran nuclear deal, “we will continue to use all of our authorities to enforce sanctions on the sale of Iranian oil and petrochemicals.

Iran is nursing a struggling economy, with its currency hitting its lowest value since the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal in May 2018.

President Joe Biden’s administration has been pushing to renew the deal, which put curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, which Iran insists it won’t never received.

In June, Iran said it was ready for further indirect talks to overcome remaining hurdles to revive its tattered 2015 nuclear deal amid a growing crisis over the country’s atomic program.

The Treasury has also designated Morteza Rajabieslami and Mahdieh Sanchuli, Iranian nationals based in the United Arab Emirates, for sanctions.

Also on Wednesday, the State Department imposed sanctions on five entities and 15 individuals located in Iran, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

“In the absence of a change of course from Iran, we will continue to use our sanctions authorities to target exports of oil, petroleum products and petrochemicals from Iran,” a statement said. State Department statement.

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