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US unveils new sanctions meant to reduce Iran energy exports

The State Department unveiled a range of new sanctions targeting six entities on Thursday to try to reduce Iranian energy exports. 

The department said in a statement that it is placing sanctions on companies that have taken part in the transport or sale of Iranian petroleum or petrochemical products. 

The entities are one Vietnam-based company that took part in a transaction for transporting petroleum products, two China-based companies and one United Arab Emirates-based company that engaged in a transaction for transporting petrochemical products and two Iranian companies for engaging in a transaction of petrochemical products. 

The department identified 20 vessels as blocked property for these entities. The order will also require all property from these companies that is in the United States or in the possession or control of a U.S. individual to be blocked and reported to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces economic and trade sanctions

Anyone who conducts business with the designated companies and the vessels could also become subject to U.S. sanctions, according to the release. 

“These designations underscore our continued efforts to enforce our sanctions against Iran,” the release states. “We will not hesitate to take action against those who try to circumvent our sanctions.” 

The sanctions come as the Pentagon warned on Tuesday that Tehran could produce enough weapons-grade material to produce a nuclear bomb in 12 days.

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl told members of the House Armed Services Committee that Iran has made “remarkable” progress toward developing nuclear weapons since the Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018.

Source: The Hill

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