The US on Monday imposed sanctions on Iran's Petroleum Ministry, along with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).
Eleven entities, eight individuals including Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh, and two vessels were blacklisted by President Donald Trump administration for their alleged financial support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Four of them were involved in the recent sale of Iranian gasoline to Venezuela.
'The regime in Iran uses the petroleum sector to fund the destabilizing activities of the IRGC-QF,' said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 'The Iranian regime continues to prioritize its support for terrorist entities and its nuclear program over the needs of the Iranian people.'
The entities include National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC), National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company (NIOPDC), Iranian Oil Pipelines and Telecommunications Company, National Iranian Oil Engineering and Construction Company, Abadan Oil Refining Company, Imam Khomeini Shazand Oil Refining Company, and the National Petrochemical Company (NPC).
The designated individuals include NIOC Managing Director Masoud Karbasian, NITC Managing Director Nasrollah Sardashti, NIORDC Director Alireza Sadiqabadi and NPC Managing Director Behzad Mohammadi.
Vessels Longbow Lake and Wu Xian also blacklisted due to their link to NIOC.
Ties between the US and Iran have been on a knife's edge since 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal with Tehran, despite international opposition.
By Beyza Binnur Donmez