The U.S. is imposing fresh Iran-related sanctions on Chinese nationals and entities, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday.
The economic penalties will hit COSCO Shipping Tanker Co. and COSCO Shipping Tanker Seaman & Ship Management Co. over their alleged transport of Iranian crude oil, the agency said in a statement.
China Concord Petroleum Co, Kunlun Shipping Company Ltd, Kunlun Holding Company Ltd and Pegasus 88 Limited were also sanctioned.
Yi Li, Yu Hua Mao, Luqian Shen, Bin Xu and Yazhou Xu were placed on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said sanctions are imposed on certain Chinese entities for knowingly transporting oil from Iran contrary to U.S. interests during his speech at Iran nuclear summit.
"And we’re telling China and all nations, know that we will sanction every violation of sanctionable activity," Pompeo said. "I ask responsible nations: Will you publicly condemn Iran’s malign activity? We need you to; the world does."
Tensions have been escalating between the U.S. and Iran after President Donald Trump withdrew in May 2018 from a nuclear pact world powers struck with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions.
Trump has since embarked on a campaign to scuttle the agreement, including the reimposition of sanctions on Iranian crude oil that were lifted as part of the agreement.
China was one of seven countries, along with Taiwan, that were initially granted waivers for the oil sanctions, but the Trump administration declined to renew them when they expired May 2.
By Beyza Binnur Donmez