US applies sanctions on Iranian chem firms

US applies sanctions on Iranian chem firms

The United States blacklisted eight companies in Iran’s petrochemical industry, sending a warning to the Islamic Republic’s global customers as Washington strives to cut off funds to the country’s nuclear program.

Petrochemical companies owned or controlled by the Iranian government that are on the Treasury Department list include Bandar Imam Petrochemical , Bou Ali Sina Petrochemical and Mobin Petrochemical.

This was the first time Washington sanctioned the petrochemical industry, which an administration official said was the largest source of foreign earnings for Iran’s nuclear program after oil sales.

“Companies should end immediately their purchases of Iranian petrochemical products,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on a call with reporters.

Diplomatic campaign

He said U.S. officials over the last several months had been engaged in a “strong diplomatic campaign” with governments and companies around the world to make clear that sanctions could be imposed on purchases of Iran’s petrochemicals.

In a related action, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on Niksima Food and Beverage JLT, a frozen yogurt company based in the UAE, for “knowingly engaging” in a transaction for the purchase of petrochemical products from Iran. It also sanctioned Jam, an Iranian manufacturer and seller of petrochemicals.