US blacklists Chinese, UAE-based companies over Iranian petrochemicals sale

US blacklists Chinese, UAE-based companies over sale of Iranian petrochemicals
2 min read
17 December, 2020
The US has blacklisted four companies that they have accused of being involved in the movement of Iranian petrochemicals.
The Trump administration has accelerated efforts to sanction Iran [Getty]
The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it had blacklisted a number of companies based in China and the United Arab Emirates, which it says have continued to do business with Iran despite the presence of sanctions
The US Treasury Department announced that four companies were blacklisted for exporting the petrochemical products of Trillance Petrochemical Co. Ltd from Iran.
“The United States will act against persons who support illicit actors engaged in the movement of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical sales,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
As the Trump administration prepares to leave office, they have accelerated the rate of sanctions that target Iran, which some have speculated are designed to muddy the waters and complicate any efforts that the incoming Biden administration will make to rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. 
The latest sanctions have targeted the China-based Donghai International Ship Management Ltd, China-based Petrochem South East Limited, UAE-based Alpha Tech Trading FZE and UAE-based Petroliance Trading FZE for providing support to Triliance Petrochemical Co Ltd.
Triliance Petrochemical Co Ltd had previously been blacklisted by Washington, with the Hong Kong based company accused of facilitating the transportation of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of exports from the National Iranian Oil Company. 
With this latest announcement, the targeted companies will have any US assets frozen and will be barred from dealing with Americans. 
Foreign financial institutions also open themselves up to the possibility of being hit with sanctions if they conduct business with the blacklisted companies, according to the Treasury. 
In 2018, the Trump administration began to reimpose sanctions on Iran after they withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in the hope that they would force Iran to reign in its nuclear programme, halt the development of ballistic missiles and curb support for regional proxy forces. 
With the election of Joe Biden, it is widely expected that his administration will seek to return to the 2015 deal and lift sanctions.
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