US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced new Iran-related sanctions Wednesday on Chinese companies transporting oil from Iran and their executive officers.
“We’re telling China and all nations, know that we will sanction every violation of sanctionable activity,” Pompeo said at a conference organized by the group United Against Nuclear Iran.
Pompeo also said the US was “taking new action to disentangle” Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps “from the Iranian economy.”
“The United States will intensify our efforts to educate countries and companies on the risk of doing business with IRGC entities and we will punish them if they persist in defiance of our warnings,” he said.
The new penalties come as President Donald Trump has been signaling his interest in starting talks with Tehran and US allies have been pushing the two countries to begin a dialogue.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly Tuesday, Trump told the world leaders gathered in New York that “as long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened.” But he also noted that that many of America’s “greatest friends” used to be enemies. “The United States has never believed in permanent enemies,” Trump told the audience.
The Treasury Department said in a release that based on a determination by Pompeo it would sanction COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co. and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co., along with a few other companies and a slew of individuals.
The Trump administration has steadily ratcheted up economic pressure on Iran since leaving the 2015 international pact that constrained its nuclear program in exchange for economic relief. The US says its goal is to get Iran back to the table to renegotiate the nuclear deal to include Iran’s ballistic missile program and its activities in the Middle East.
In recent days, Iran has signaled its willingness to discuss amending the nuclear deal, but insists that the US lifts sanctions first.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking Tuesday to a group of American media managers, said efforts by US allies to restart talks will only be effective if the US lifts the unilateral sanctions it imposed on Iran after leaving the nuclear pact. Those penalties now cover all essential pillars of the economy, including its central bank and sovereign wealth fund.
Source » cnn