US hits Iran’s largest petrochemical group with sanctions
United States has hit Iran’s petrochemical group PGPIC with economic sanctions due to its ties with the country’s Revolutionary Guards. The Treasury Department yesterday said the move aims to choke off financing to the country’s largest and most profitable petrochemical group and extends to its 39 subsidiaries and foreign-based sales agents.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that the action is a warning that US will continue to target holding groups and companies that provide financial lifelines to the Revolutionary Guards. Treasury warned that international companies continuing to partner with PGPIC or subsidiaries and sales agents will themselves be exposed to US sanctions.
Following President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, US efforts over the past year to choke off Iran’s economy have angered allies as foreign companies get caught up in the dispute.
The PGPIC group holds 40 per cent of Iran’s total petrochemical production capacity and is responsible for 50 percent of the country’s petrochemical exports, Treasury said.
Meanwhile, Iran has rejected an idea mooted by France of re-opening nuclear talks, warning that seeking to broaden an existing landmark treaty could lead to its collapse. President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that his goal of regional peace would require new negotiations.