The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on Chinese and other firms it said helped to sell tens of millions of dollars’ in Iranian oil and petrochemical products to East Asia as it seeks to raise pressure on Tehran to curb its nuclear program.
These sanctions come at a time when Iran announced the activation of 500 of their new uranium centrifuges. Experts have said that the total amount of centrifuges in their inventory are now at a level in which they can most likely create weapons grade uranium.
The U.S. Treasury and the U.S. State Departments imposed sanctions on a total of six companies, four based in Hong Kong, one in Singapore, and one in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in actions that were announced in separate statements.
The Treasury accused Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co. (PGPICC), one of Iran’s largest petrochemical brokers, of using the firms to facilitate the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products to East Asia.
On Monday it was reported that E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrel is still trying to push a last-ditch nuclear deal for Iran. France, the U.K., and the United States have all stated that it is unacceptable for Iran to obtain any nuclear weapons.