New US sanctions target Iran’s petrochemical industry

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New US sanctions imposed on Friday target Iran’s petrochemical industry, including the country’s largest petrochemical holding group over its financial support for Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The US hit Iran’s petrochemical group PGPIC with economic sanctions due to its ties with the country’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), the Treasury Department announced on Friday.

The sanctions prohibit the firm and its subsidiaries from accessing the US market or financial system, including through other foreign companies, and blocks all funds or property that is in the United States or held by a US firm.

The PGPIC group holds 40 percent of Iran’s total petrochemical production capacity and is responsible for 50 percent of the country’s petrochemical exports, the Treasury said.

The move aims to choke off financing to the country's largest and most profitable petrochemical group and extends to its 39 subsidiaries and “foreign-based sales agents,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

“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,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

“By targeting this network we intend to deny funding to key elements of Iran’s petrochemical sector that provide support to the IRGC,” he added .

“Maximum pressure on Iran’s regime continues today,” tweeted Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State. “The US Treasury imposed sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical sector, which funds the IRGC. The US will deny the regime the money it needs to destabilize the Middle East.”

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