U.S. Sanctions Iran's Petrochemical Industry, Ratcheting Up Pressure

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The United States has imposed new sanctions on Iran's petrochemical industry that will affect 50 percent of that country's exports.

The U.S. Treasury targeted an Iranian company that it says provides financial support for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, recently designated as a terror organization by the United States.

It said Iran's Oil Ministry in 2018 awarded Khatam al-Anbiya, the IRGC's economic and engineering arm, 10 projects in the oil and petrochemical industries worth $22 billion, four times the official budget of the IRGC.

"This action is a warning that we will continue to target holding groups and companies in the petrochemical sector and elsewhere that provide financial lifelines to the IRGC," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The Treasury called the petrochemicals industry in Iran a "slush fund" for the IRGC, Iran's foreign expeditionary force that carries out the regime's agenda. The White House says it wants to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran to obtain better terms.

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