US sanctions alleged Iranian petrochemical network, Chinese, UAE front companies

Biden administration issues new sanctions on Tehran as talks stall on mutual return to nuclear deal

Michael Hernandez   | 16.06.2022
US sanctions alleged Iranian petrochemical network, Chinese, UAE front companies


The US on Thursday sanctioned an alleged network of Iranian petrochemical producers and front companies established in China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The petrochemical producers that have been added to the US blacklist include Iran-based Marun Petrochemical Company, Kharg Petrochemical Company Limited and Fanavaran Petrochemical Company, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

They are accused of helping Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. and Iran’s Petrochemical Commercial Company, which were previously sanctioned, conduct international transactions and evade sanctions to support petrochemical sales in China and East Asia.

Also sanctioned were front companies Hong Kong-based companies Keen Well International Limited, and Teamford Enterprises Limited; and UAE-based companies GX Shipping FZE, Future Gate Fuel and Petrochemical Trading L.L.C., Sky Zone Trading FZE and Youchem General Trading FZE.

Two “Trilliance facilitators” were also blacklisted, including China-based brokered Jingfeng Gao and Indian national Mohammad Shaheed Ruknooddin Bhore.

The sanctions come amid a continued stall in negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal world powers struck with Iran, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Indirect talks between the US and Iran have been going on for more than one year with the Biden administration laying blame for the impasse on Tehran’s desire to include issues that were not part of the original agreement.

Washington has nonetheless said there is still time to achieve a mutual return to full compliance with the pact but has warned that the window is closing.

“The United States is pursuing the path of meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Absent a deal, we will continue to use our sanctions authorities to limit exports of petroleum, petroleum products, and petrochemical products from Iran,” said Brian Nelson, the department’s senior official for financial intelligence.

“The United States will continue to expose the networks Iran uses to conceal sanctions evasion activities,” he added.

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