The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned a network of companies helping Iran circumvent Washington’s sanctions selling products by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
In a statement issued January 23, the Treasury said hundreds of millions of dollars of sanction-busting activities were traced to these companies, which repatriated revenues to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Qods force. The statement says that the proceeds enabled the Islamic Republic to finance "terrorist" proxies and activities throughout the Middle East.
“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,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin is quoted as saying.
The Thursday action targeted Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a Hong Kong-based broker with branches in Iran, United Arab Emirates, China and Germany.
Referring the new sanctions Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a tweet on Thursday said maximum pressure on the Iranian regime will continue until its behavior changes. "If you facilitate this regime's activities, you will be sanctioned," Pompeo told Iran's major trade partners.
“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” concealing the origin of products it helped sell, the statement said.
In addition to Triliance, three other companies were also named in the statement; Sage Energy, Peakview, and Beneathco DMCC for assisting Iran in gaining revenues for exports violating U.S. sanctions.
The action by the U.S. Treasury not only impacts the companies but also some individuals in charge. "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," the Treasury statement said.