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US sanctions global network of companies, including India-based firm, for role in Iran's petrochemical trade

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Washington | September 30, 2022 9:30:01 AM IST
The United States has announced a fresh round of sanctions for an international network of companies involved in selling Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products, including an India-based petrochemical company.

The US Treasury Department said these punitive measures target Iranian brokers and several front companies in the UAE, Hong Kong, and India that have facilitated financial transfers and shipping of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products.

The US government claims that Triliance, a critical component of Iran's petroleum and petrochemical sectors, which brokers the sale of Iranian products to foreign purchasers, has purchased millions of dollars' worth of Iranian petrochemical products from Iran-based petrochemical brokers, which were ultimately shipped to India.

It also accuses India-based petrochemical company Tibalaji Petrochem Private Limited of purchasing Triliance-brokered petrochemical products, including methanol and base oil, for onward shipment to China.

"Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned an international network of companies involved in the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products to end users in South and East Asia," the treasury department said in a statement.

"These entities have played a critical role in concealing the origin of the Iranian shipments and enabling two sanctioned Iranian brokers, Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (Triliance) and Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co. (PGPICC), to transfer funds and ship Iranian petroleum and petrochemicals to buyers in Asia. In addition to OFAC's designations, the Department of State is designating two entities based in the People's Republic of China (PRC), Zhonggu Storage and Transportation Co. Ltd. and WS Shipping Co. Ltd., for their involvement in Iran's petrochemical trade," the statement read.

Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said the United States is committed to severely restricting Iran's illicit oil and petrochemical sales. "So long as Iran refuses a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the United States will continue to enforce its sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products."

As Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear program in violation of the JCPOA, the US government said it will continue to accelerate our enforcement of sanctions on Iran's petroleum and petrochemical sales under authorities that would be removed under the JCPOA.

"These enforcement actions will continue on a regular basis, with an aim to severely restrict Iran's oil and petrochemical exports. Anyone involved in facilitating these illegal sales and transactions should cease and desist immediately if they wish to avoid U.S. sanctions," the treasury department said.

The US government also said they remain concerned about a wide range of Iranian policies, from their nuclear program, to abuses perpetrated against their own people, to supporting "Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine" with drones and military training, and destabilizing activities across the region. (ANI)

 
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