The Trump administration announced on Monday a new round of sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector.
The Iranian Ministry of Petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) and other entities were sanctioned, along with several executives, for supporting the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC-QF)and their proxies, including Hezbollah and the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, and for being involved in the recent Iranian sale of oil to the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
“The regime in Iran uses the petroleum sector to fund the destabilizing activities of the IRGC-QF,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement. “The Iranian regime continues to prioritize its support for terrorist entities and its nuclear program over the needs of the Iranian people.”
“These designations are an important step in the maximum pressure campaign to limit the Iranian regime’s ability to threaten its neighbors and destabilize the Middle East,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement. “Our action will further restrict the scope of activities permitted with the designated individuals and entities, further limiting the Iranian regime’s access to funds it uses to enrich itself and support terrorism around the world.”
He went on to say that “the few remaining buyers of Iranian crude oil should know that they are helping to fund Iran’s malign activity across the Middle East, including its support for terrorism.”