The US Treasury has expanded its sanctions list against Iran. Five Chinese citizens and six Chinese companies fell under restrictive measures.

As follows from the data of the Office for Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), restriction, in particular, affected the shipping company Cosco Shipping Tanker and China Concord Petroleum, which operates in the oil industry. Thus, all their assets are frozen under US jurisdiction, and any cooperation with them is prohibited to American citizens and legal entities.

“We are imposing sanctions on certain Chinese organizations for the deliberate transportation of oil from Iran, contrary to US sanctions. In addition, and this is important, we introduce sanctions against the leaders of these companies. We are telling China and all other countries: know that we will introduce restrictions for every case of activity subject to sanctions, ”said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

This is the second sanctioned decision by the US Treasury against Iran over the past seven days. On September 20, restrictive measures were introduced against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and the Iranian National Development Fund (NDF), since these structures, according to Washington, are involved in the "financing of terrorism."

During his speech at the meeting on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, the meeting “Uniting Against Nuclear Iran”, the head of American diplomacy continued to develop the topic of allegedly Tehran’s interaction with terrorists.

“They killed and tortured their own people, they killed Americans from Lebanon to Iraq, they still shelter Al Qaeda *. Iran has acted in this way for four decades and, unfortunately, without consequences for itself, ”said Pompeo.

In addition, the US presidential administration intends to cut off the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from participating in the republic’s foreign economic activity.

“The United States is stepping up efforts to better familiarize countries and companies with the risks that accompany doing business with the IRGC. And we will punish them if they persevere and challenge our warnings, ”the US Secretary of State added.

  • Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
  • © Iranian Presidency / AFP

Recall, the United States is introducing economic sanctions against Iran in order to “force” it to conclude a new agreement on the nuclear program. Moreover, such an agreement already exists - this is the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan for the Iranian Nuclear Program. It was signed between Iran on the one hand and permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, USA, China, France, Great Britain) and Germany on the other.

However, in 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump said that Iran did not comply with its obligations and returned, and subsequently increased, sanctions pressure on the Islamic republic. At the same time, the American side did not provide evidence of “violations”. Moreover, the IAEA noted that Tehran is fulfilling the terms of the deal.

Russia, China and European countries condemned the US decision and called on Washington to return to the terms of the deal.

In the spring of 2019, on the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, began to reduce its obligations. At the moment, Tehran has already undertaken the third reduction. At the same time, the authorities of the Islamic Republic note their readiness to comply with the JCPOA if the other parties to the transaction are true to their obligations.

Thus, European states must maintain diplomatic and economic contacts with Iran. In order to prevent the USA from counteracting trade operations, France, Great Britain and Germany created a new settlement mechanism INSTEX. The first contracts have already passed through it, but according to Iran’s position, European states should use it to purchase oil.

The US continues to exert pressure. On September 24, US Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs David Schenker said sanctions would be imposed until Tehran negotiated.

"We will increase pressure, but we are striving to bring Iran to the negotiating table and achieve a nuclear deal, agreements on a missile program," he said.

Schenker also emphasized that Washington seeks to “change the hostile, destabilizing and reckless behavior” of Tehran.

Despite the fact that Iran is already at the third stage of reducing its obligations, the authorities emphasize that the activities under the nuclear program remain peaceful and cooperation with the IAEA continues. President of the country Hassan Rouhani, announcing this step on September 4, stressed that other members of the deal have 2 months for Tehran to return to the JCPOA.

“In any case, we give two more months to the 4 + 1 countries. If we can reach an agreement, then we may return to the terms of the JCPOA, ”he said.

At the same time, Rukhani rejected the possibility of bilateral negotiations with the United States. According to him, the conversation can take place with the mediation of other countries of the JCPOA and only if Washington lifts all sanctions against Tehran.

In Russia, they urge the United States to return to the JCPOA, and European countries to follow their commitments.

“Taking into account what is happening, the central issue at the present stage is the preservation of the integrity of the JCPOA, making its implementation sustainable in the aggressive environment created by the USA. Unprecedented efforts are being made in this direction by all the remaining participants in comprehensive agreements, including Iran, ”the Foreign Ministry commented on September 9.

The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that saving the treaty is possible while other countries are working to save it.

* “Al-Qaeda” - the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of February 14, 2003.