Accessibility links

Breaking News

New US Sanctions Target Iranian Petroleum, Petrochemical Trade

FILE - A man walks past the Mahshahr petrochemical plant in Khuzestan province, southwest of Tehran, Iran, Sept. 28, 2011.
FILE - A man walks past the Mahshahr petrochemical plant in Khuzestan province, southwest of Tehran, Iran, Sept. 28, 2011.

The United States imposed sanctions Thursday on firms it said had transported or sold Iranian petroleum or petrochemical products in violation of U.S. restrictions, including two companies based in China.

The sanctions are part of a Washington push to curb Iranian oil smuggling and come as efforts to revive Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal have stalled in part because of the increasingly strained ties between the Islamic Republic and the West.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the sanctions target 11 firms and 20 affiliated shipping vessels that had facilitated Iran's petroleum and petrochemical trade.

"These designations underscore our continued efforts to enforce our sanctions against Iran," Blinken said.

Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York accused the Biden administration of "basically repeating the failed maximum pressure policy of the former U.S. government," referring to former President Donald Trump's administration.

"Iran has gotten used to these sanctions, but if the U.S. wants to return to JCPOA [the Iran nuclear deal] one day, it will be challenging for the U.S. government to lift all of them," Iran's U.N. mission told Reuters.

Two of the sanctioned firms are based in China, with others in Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates, according to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. The sanctions freeze the firms' U.S. assets and generally bar Americans from dealing with them.

The U.S. issued the sanctions under a 2018 U.S. executive order that restored sanctions targeting Iran's oil, banking and transportation sectors.

Trump imposed the 2018 order after abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal, which reined in Iran's nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions. President Joe Biden's administration has tried but failed to revive the pact over the last two years.

On Thursday, the Treasury Department issued a general license authorizing limited transactions with the 20 sanctioned vessels under what it called a "wind-down" period through June 29, a document on its website showed.

  • 16x9 Image


    Reuters is a news agency founded in 1851 and owned by the Thomson Reuters Corporation based in Toronto, Canada. One of the world's largest wire services, it provides financial news as well as international coverage in over 16 languages to more than 1000 newspapers and 750 broadcasters around the globe.

Special Report