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Two Chinese state-run entities are being placed under sanctions by the U.S. State and Treasury Departments for helping Iran circumvent sanctions on exporting petroleum and petrochemical products.

The sanctioned companies include Zhonggu Storage and Transportation Co., which operates a commercial crude oil storage facility for Iranian petroleum and provides a conduit for Iranian petroleum trade, and WS Shipping Co., the ship manager for the vessel that transports Iranian petroleum products, the State Department said on Thursday.


“As Iran continues to accelerate its nuclear program in violation of the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal), we will continue to accelerate our enforcement of sanctions on Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical sales under authorities that would be removed under the JCPOA,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “These enforcement actions will continue on a regular basis, with an aim to severely restrict Iran’s oil and petrochemical exports. Anyone involved in facilitating these illegal sales and transactions should cease and desist immediately if they wish to avoid U.S. sanctions.”

The Treasury Department is designating eight additional entities involved in Iran’s petrochemical trade. These companies are based in Hong Kong, Iran, India and the United Arab Emirates. According to the department, the entities include Iranian brokers and several front companies that have facilitated the sale of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products.

“The United States is committed to severely restricting Iran’s illicit oil and petrochemical sales,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson. “So long as Iran refuses a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the United States will continue to enforce its sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products.”


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