The US on Monday issued fresh sanctions against Iran meant to target the Islamic Republic’s oil and petrochemical sales to East Asia.
The new sanctions targeted three Chinese firms and one UAE firm accused of doing business with the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co. (PGPICC), which the US Treasury Department says is one of Iran’s largest petrochemical brokers.
According to the Treasury Department, PGPICC facilitated the "sale of tens of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products from Iran to East Asia" through the firms that were hit with sanctions.
The sanctions are the latest sign that the Biden administration is not serious about reviving the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked if the US was ready to return to JCPOA, but he sidestepped the questions and put the responsibility on Iran.
On this question, the US Treasury statement noted: "The United States continues to pursue the path of diplomacy to achieve a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action," according to Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.
"Until such time as Iran is ready to return to full implementation of its commitments, we will continue to enforce sanctions on the illicit sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemicals," the statement said.
The Biden administration has maintained a hardline position on Iran and refuses to lift non-nuclear-related sanctions or sanctions they claim are outside the scope of the economic benefits Iran was supposed to receive from the JCPOA.
The Treasury Department said that until the JCPOA is revived, the US will "continue to enforce sanctions on the illicit sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemicals."