US sanctions Iran's petrochemical industry

Trump administration sanctions Iran's largest petrochemical company for providing support to Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.jpg
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.jpg

The Trump administration on Friday hit Iran with new sanctions that target its largest petrochemical company for providing support to the Revolutionary Guard Corps, The Associated Press reports.

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company and 39 of its subsidiaries and foreign sales agents. It said the company holds 40% of Iran's petrochemical production capacity and is responsible for 50% of the country's petrochemical exports. It said the sanctions were the result of the company doing billions of dollars of business with the Guard Corps.

The administration designated the IRGC a "foreign terrorist organization" last month, and can impose sanctions on any company or individual that provides a designated entity with material support.

"By targeting this network we intend to deny funding to key elements of Iran's petrochemical sector that provide support to the IRGC," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement quoted by AP.

"This action is a warning that we will continue to target holding groups and companies in the petrochemical sector and elsewhere that provide financial lifelines to the IRGC," he added.

Friday's sanctions are part of the administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran and freeze any assets the targeted firms may have in US jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.

That effort has picked up steam in recent weeks with the re-imposition of penalties aimed at bringing Iran's lucrative oil export revenue to zero following President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Iran announced last month it was suspending some of its commitments under the 2015 deal in response to the US withdrawal in May of last year. The US administration responded by imposing new sanctions on Iranian industrial metal sectors.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)