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US sanctions nine entities for Iranian petrochemical deals

Washington — The US State Department named nine entities Wednesday under new sanctions for continuing to trade petrochemicals with Iran.

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The State Department said the companies knowingly engaged in a "significant transaction for the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport or marketing of petrochemical products from Iran."

The companies include SPI International Proprietary of South Africa and its owners South African company Main Street 1095 and Iranian entity Armed Forces Social Security Investment Co. The others are Hong Kong-based companies McFly Plastic HK, Saturn Oasis and Sea Charming Shipping; and Chinese companies Dalian Golden Sun Import & Export, Tianyi International (Dalian) and Aoxing Ship Management (Shanghai).

State also imposed sanctions on Mohammad Hassan Toulai, managing director of Armed Forces Social Security Investment; Hossein Tavakkoli, director of SPI International; and Reza Ebadzadeh Semnani, director of Main Street 1095.

The Trump administration's Iran sanctions cut across the energy and commodity sectors, including restrictions on oil trades that have slashed the country's crude and condensate exports.

Wednesday's sanctions against petrochemical deals follow a similar action in January to target companies based in Hong Kong, Dubai and Shanghai for their roles in facilitating hundreds of millions of dollars in crude oil, petrochemical and refined product exports from the National Iranian Oil Company, according to the Treasury Department.