US Sanctions Chinese Firm for Buying Iranian Crude Oil

The United States has imposed sanctions on a Chinese oil trading company and its chief executive for buying oil from Iran.

According to a State Department announcement from July 22, Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited was sanctioned for knowingly engaging in a significant transaction for the purchase or acquisition of crude oil from Iran.

“We said we would fully enforce our sanctions, and we are backing this up with real action. The announcement today will help deny the regime critical income to fund terror around the world, engage in foreign conflicts, and advance its ballistic missile development,” the State Department said.

The transaction in question took place after the expiration of China’s Significant Reduction Exception (SRE) on May 2, 2019, and was not covered by that SRE.

The imposed sanctions will block all property and interests in property of Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited that are in the United States or within the possession or control of a US person. What is more, such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.

Additionally, the United States is imposing several restrictions as well as a ban on entry into the United States on Youmin Li, a corporate officer and principal executive officer of Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited.

The sanctions are the latest step in the United States’ maximum economic pressure campaign on Iran over its alleged role in supporting terrorism in the region and its nuclear program. They also follow Iran’s seizing of UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero on July 19.