According to the US Treasury Department, the sanctions are on key actors in Iran’s oil sector for supporting the Quds Force, the elite foreign paramilitary and espionage arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The minister of petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and National Iranian Tanker Company were also blacklisted alongside other individuals and entities.
The action also imposes counterterrorism sanctions on NIOC, the National Iranian Tanker Company and National Petrochemical Company, which had previously been blacklisted by Washington under different authorities.
Commenting on the new sanctions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “the few remaining buyers of Iranian crude oil should know that they are helping to fund Iran’s malign activity across the Middle East, including its support for terrorism.”
What is more, the Treasury also imposed sanctions on Mahmoud Madanipour and United Arab Emirates-based Mobin International Limited, accusing them of entering into an agreement with Venezuelan state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to ship gasoline obtained from NIOC to the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The British-based companies Madanipour, Mobin Holding Limited and Oman Fuel Trading Ltd were also blacklisted.