The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on companies it accused of playing a critical role in the production, sale and shipment of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum to buyers in Asia, as Washington increases pressure on Tehran.
Six Iranian-linked companies to be sanctioned
The US Treasury Department in a statement said it imposed sanctions on six Iran-based petrochemical manufacturers and their subsidiaries and three firms in Malaysia and Singapore over the production, sale and shipment of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum.
The latest US move against Iranian oil smuggling comes as efforts to revive Iran's 2015 nuclear deal have stalled and ties between the Islamic Republic and the West are increasingly strained as Iranians keep up anti-government protests.
"Iran increasingly turning to buyers in East Asia to sell its petrochemical and petroleum products, in violation of US sanctions,” Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement.
"The United States remains focused on targeting Tehran’s sources of illicit revenue, and will continue to enforce its sanctions against those who wittingly facilitate this trade."