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Biden administration announces new sanctions targeting illicit Iranian oil network

By Kylie Atwood, CNN

The Biden administration is putting sanctions on 15 individuals and entities who have been involved in illicit sales and shipments of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian oil, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday.

The newest sanctions come as the latest efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal failed just last week.

“The United States is designating 15 individuals and entities that engaged in the illicit sales and shipment of Iranian petroleum, petroleum products, and petrochemical products. These entities, located in Iran, Vietnam, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Hong Kong, have supported Iranian energy trade generating millions of dollars’ worth of illicit revenue,” Blinken said in a statement.

The sanctions were rolled out by both the State Department and the Treasury Department.

“While the United States is committed to achieving an agreement with Iran that seeks a mutual return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will continue to use all our authorities to enforce sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemicals,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.

Blinken said that the three Iran-based entities sanctioned by the State Department include: Zagros Tarabaran-E Arya, which is a shipper of Iranian petroleum products; Persian Gulf Star Oil Company is the largest producer of gas condensate in Iran; and East Ocean Rashin Shipping Co. Ltd., which is a port agent and freight forwarder of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products.

“The United States has been sincere and steadfast in pursuing a path of meaningful diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It is Iran that has, to-date, failed to demonstrate a similar commitment to that path. Absent a change in course from Iran, we will continue to use our sanctions authorities to target exports of petroleum, petroleum products, and petrochemical products from Iran,” Blinken said.

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