The US State Department on Wednesday imposed sanctions of a Vietnam gas and chemicals transportation company for "knowingly engaging [...] in a significant transaction for the transport of petroleum products from Iran", according to a statement.
"Today, the US imposed sanctions on five entities for knowingly engaging in the transport of Iranian petroleum or petrochemical products, whose revenue the regime uses to carry out its malign agenda. We will not relent in our pursuit of those who attempt to evade sanctions", State Secretary Mike Pompeo tweeted, announcing the sanctions.
The sanctions have also been imposed on the company’s managing director, Vo Ngoc Phung, "for serving as a principal executive officer of the company".
"Concurrently, the Department of the Treasury is imposing sanctions on four entities pursuant to E.O 13846, for providing material assistance or support to Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a US designated entity. They are China-based Donghai International Ship Management Limited and Petrochem South East Limited, as well as UAE-based Alpha Tech Trading FZE and Petroliance Trading FZE", the US State Department said.
Today, the U.S. imposed sanctions on five entities for knowingly engaging in the transport of Iranian petroleum or petrochemical products, whose revenue the regime uses to carry out its malign agenda. We will not relent in our pursuit of those who attempt to evade sanctions.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 16, 2020
Earlier in the day, the US Treasury Department said in a press release that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had designated four entities for facilitating the export of Iranian petrochemical products by Triliance, a petroleum company sanctioned in January for dealings with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
According to the Treasury Department, the companies based in China and the United Arab Emirates "have provided Triliance with critical shipping services or conducted financial transactions on behalf of the company, enabling Triliance to continue brokering and moving Iranian petrochemical exports".
The US Maximum Pressure on Iran
As the statement by the State Department asserted that Iran's military and security budget had "decreased by a massive 24 percent" as "a direct result of the US maximum pressure campaign", the Islamic republic continues to be targeted by the Trump administration.
White House has continued to expand the sanctions through recent years, targeting nuclear and petroleum industries of the country, and asserting that Iran is prohibited from ballistic missile testing and development. In addition, Washington sanctions countries that cooperate with Iran in fields designated by the US.
In late November, the US sanctioned five companies in Russia and China for being allegedly linked to Iranian missile program.
Tehran has vehemently criticised the US sanction policy, with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani denouncing the White House for creating obstacles for Iran amid the coronavirus pandemic, restricting the country's ability to import medical equipment and vaccines.
“These people that were at the helm in the White House, and are spending the final days of their miserable [political] lives, were so evil that they did not even show mercy towards the health of people, the elderly and the disabled, amid the coronavirus issue, and they acted in the most corrupt and most savage manner towards the people of the region and the great nation of Iran", Rouhani said on Wednesday.