US hits Iran energy exports with fresh sanctions targeting entities, freezing assets

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The US imposed a new round of sanctions on companies it accused of involvement in Iran’s petrochemical and petroleum trade, the State Department announced on Thursday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the sanctions targeted six entities based in Iran, China, Vietnam and UAE that were involved in transporting or selling Iranian products. The sanctions also include blocking 20 vessels identified as property of the sanctioned entities.

“These designations underscore our continued efforts to enforce our sanctions against Iran,” Blinken said.

The latest sanctions are part of a continuing effort by the US to constrict Iranian oil smuggling. They come at a time of increased tensions between the Washington and Tehran over the oppression of Iranian protesters and the sale of Iranian drones to Russia which are being used against Ukraine.

Additionally, efforts to revive the abandoned 2015 nuclear deal have completely stalled. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reportedly detected uranium enriched to 84 percent purity – the highest level reported in the country to date and very close to weapons-grade.

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