The Trump Administration has issued a new wave of sanctions against Iran following the escalation of tensions in the region and retaliatory missile attacks launched last week against U.S. military bases in Iraq.
In the latest sanctions, the US Treasury targeted Iran’s billion-dollar metal industry and senior regime officials clamping down on the country’s remaining revenue sources. A total of 17 Iranian metals producers and mining companies were listed in the latest group of sanctioned entities.
“We are also designating Iran’s largest metals manufacturers, and imposing sanctions on new sectors of the Iranian economy including construction, manufacturing, and mining. These sanctions will continue until the regime stops the funding of global terrorism and commits to never having nuclear weapons,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said.
As part of the sanctions, a Chinese shipowner Hongyuan Marine Co. Ltd. and its vessel Hong Xun have been designated.
The U.S. said that the company acted within a network of three China- and Seychelles-based entities and that its ship was involved in the purchase, sale, and transfer of Iranian metals products, as well as in the provision of critical metals production components to Iranian metal producers.
Specifically, in September 2019, Hong Xun transported steel slabs purchased by Pamchel Trading Beijing Co. Ltd. from Esfahan Mobarakeh Steel Company from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to China.
Hongyuan Marine Co. Ltd., located in Zhejian, China, is the registered owner of the vessel Hong Xun, as well as the vessel’s Ship Manager/Commercial Manager.
“Hongyuan Marine Co. Ltd. is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13871 for having knowingly engaged, on or after the date of E.O. 13871, in a significant transaction for the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of iron, iron products, aluminum, aluminum products, steel, steel products, copper, or copper products from Iran through its vessel, Hon Xun. OFAC is also identifying the Hong Xun as blocked property in which Hongyuan Marine Co. Ltd. has an interest,” the treasury said.