The US announced on Monday new designations against companies and a vessel for violating Iran-related sanctions as talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal remain at a standstill.
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson admitted that the sanctions were part of a pressure campaign to get Iran back into full compliance with the now-defunct Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Until such time as Iran is ready to return to full implementation of its commitments, we will continue to enforce sanctions on the illicit sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemicals,” he said.
The companies sanctioned were allegedly used by Iran’s Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co. (PGPICC) to facilitate the sale of tens of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian petroleum from Iran to East Asia, the Treasury Department said.
Four of the companies are based in China, 1 in Singapore and another in the UAE. The LPG tanker sanctioned is Panama flagged and called “Glory Harvest.”
The State Department also announced the designation of two entities that purchased, acquired, sold, transported, or marketed Iranian petroleum and petroleum products, including providing logistical support to the Iranian petroleum trade.
For his part, Blinken said the US was trying to revive the nuclear deal, which the Obama administration brokered. “Until Iran is ready to return to full implementation of the JCPOA, we will continue to use our sanctions authorities to target exports of petroleum, petroleum products, and petrochemical products from Iran,” he said.