The Trump administration quietly announced new crushing sanctions on Thursday against entities that have been providing concealed support to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
“Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against four international petrochemical and petroleum companies that have collectively transferred the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of exports from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), an entity instrumental in Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical industries, which helps to finance Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its terrorist proxies,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. “Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical industries are major sources of revenue for the Iranian regime and funds its malign activities throughout the Middle East. The entities targeted today facilitate Iran’s petrochemical and petroleum exports in contravention of U.S. economic sanctions.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “Iran’s petrochemical and petroleum sectors are primary sources of funding for the Iranian regime’s global terrorist activities and enable its persistent use of violence against its own people.”
The Treasury Department said that sanctions that it was imposing had the following implications:
All property and interests in property of these persons designated today subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. In addition, foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate significant transactions for, or persons that provide material or certain other support to, the persons designated today risk exposure to sanctions that could sever their access to the U.S. financial system or block their property and interests in property under U.S. jurisdiction.
One of the entities sanctioned by the Trump administration was Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a Hong-Kong based broker with branches in Iran, United Arab Emirates, China, and Germany:
In 2019, Triliance ordered the transfer of the equivalent of millions of dollars to NIOC as payment for Iranian petrochemicals, crude oil, and petroleum products shipped to the United Arab Emirates and China after the expiration of any applicable significant reduction exceptions. In facilitating these shipments, Triliance worked to conceal the Iranian origin of these products. Triliance has also facilitated the sale of millions of dollars’ worth of petroleum products involving Naftiran Intertrade Company, a subsidiary of NIOC, to companies in China.
The other companies that were sanctioned were “Hong Kong-based Sage Energy HK Ltd.; Shanghai-based Peakview Industry Co.; and Dubai-based Beneathco DMCC,” according to The Wall Street Journal.