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US hits Iran's oil sector with fresh sanctions
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 10 - 2020

The United States on Monday announced a slew of fresh sanctions and additional measures targeting Iran's petroleum sector as part of the Trump administration's maximum pressure campaign against Tehran.
In a statement on Monday, the US Treasury Department said its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on Iran's Ministry of Petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) for providing financial support to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Assad regime in Syria.
"The regime in Iran uses the petroleum sector to fund the destabilizing activities of the IRGC-QF," said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
"The Iranian regime continues to prioritize its support for terrorist entities and its nuclear program over the needs of the Iranian people," Mnuchin added.
Commenting on the new sanctions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, saying: The Iranian regime pawns its oil to fund the destabilizing misadventures of the IRGC rather than improving conditions for its people. Today the US is imposing major counterterrorism sanctions against Iranian energy institutions for providing support to the IRGC's Qods Force."
Senior NIOC and NITC personnel have worked closely with Rostam Ghasemi, a senior IRGC-QF official and former Minister of Petroleum who was designated in 2019, and who has assumed a portion of former IRGC-QF Commander Qasem Soleimani's role in facilitating shipments of oil and petroleum products for the financial benefit of the IRGC-QF, the statement from the US Treasury read.
OFAC also designated multiple entities and individuals associated with the Ministry of Petroleum, NIOC, and NITC, including front companies, subsidiaries, and senior executives. In addition, OFAC is designating four persons involved in the recent sale of Iranian gasoline to the illegitimate Maduro regime in Venezuela.
The Iranian Ministry of Petroleum has been used by individuals at the highest levels of the Iranian regime to facilitate the IRGC-QF's revenue generation scheme. In mid-2019, the Ministry of Petroleum arranged the loading of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil for shipments to Syria, and in mid-2020 the IRGC-QF and senior regime officials coordinated to use the Ministry of Petroleum to procure US dollars for the benefit of the IRGC-QF, the statement from the US Treasury added. — Agen


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