The State department under Secretary Antony Blinken announced another round of sanctions targeting Iran on Thursday. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 18 (UPI) -- For a third straight day, the United States has imposed sanctions targeting Iran, as the Biden administration continues to punish the Middle Eastern country over its attempts to evade sanctions and its ongoing crackdown on anti-regime protests.
The Treasury and State Department on Thursday blacklisted 13 companies based in China, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates on accusations of facilitating the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of Iranian petrochemical and petroleum products to East Asian buyers on behalf of U.S. designated entities.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday's designations aim to disrupt Iran's sanctions evasion efforts by targeting companies involved with previously sanctioned Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Commercial, Triliance Petrochemical and the National Iranian Oil Company and its marketing arm, Naftiran Intertrade Company.
"The entities targeted today have purchased or enabled Iranian petrochemical and petroleum sales and transferred funds to benefit Iran's petrochemical sector," the United States' top diplomat said in a statement. "The United States is committed to enforcing our sanctions against Iran, including those related to the petroleum and petrochemical trade.
"Anyone involved in facilitating these sales and transactions risks exposure to U.S. sanctions."
The sanctions freeze all U.S. property and interests in property the designated entities may have as well as bars U.S. citizens from doing business with them.
"Today's action further demonstrates the complex sanctions evasion methods Iran employs to illicitly sell petroleum and petrochemical products," Brian Nelson, under secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement.
The sanctions come as the Biden administration has sought to force Tehran back into negotiations on a new accord aimed at preventing the Islamic Republic from gaining a nuclear weapon.
The Biden administration has repeatedly imposed sanctions targeting Iran's efforts to evade previously imposed sanctions, including twice this month alone.
It has also recently imposed Iran-related punitive measures against those it accuses of aiding Russia's war in Ukraine with arming the Kremlin with drones and individuals and entities committing human rights abuses against anti-regime protesters in the country, who have taken to the streets since the death of a woman in police custody in mid-September.
On Wednesday, the the Biden administration sanctioned senior officials and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting over the airing of hundreds of forced confessions of Iranian, dual national and international detainees in Iran.
On Tuesday, it sanctioned several companies involved in Iran's production of drones for Russia.