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U.S. Treasury sanctions oil trading firms for allegedly facilitating Iranian regime

20 Mar 2020

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Tuesday (12 March) took action against five United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based companies that allegedly facilitated the Iranian regime’s petroleum and petrochemical sales.  

The five companies are Petro Grand FZE, Alphabet International DMCC, Swissol Trade DMCC, Alam Al Tharwa General Trading LLC, and Alwaneo LLC Co.

In 2019, these five companies collectively purchased hundreds of thousands of metric tons of petroleum products from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), it said in an official statement.  

Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical industries are major sources of revenue for the Iranian regime, which has used these funds to support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force’s (IRGC-QF) malign activities throughout the Middle East, including the support of terrorist groups, continued the statement.

Allegedly, at least three of these companies have falsified documents to conceal the Iranian origin of these shipments.

“The Iranian regime uses revenues from petroleum and petrochemical sales to fund its terrorist proxies, like the IRGC-QF, instead of the health and well-being of the Iranian people,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  

“The Trump Administration will continue to target and isolate those who support the Iranian regime and remain committed to facilitating humanitarian trade and assistance in support of the Iranian people.”

OFAC’s action follows similar designations of key revenue sources that enable Iran’s malign regional activity. 

Petro Grand FZE has concealed the origin of Iranian petrochemical products shipped to the UAE. Petroleum products purchased by Swissol Trade DMCC from NIOC were falsified as Iraqi-origin.

In 2019, Alwaneo Trade DMCC falsified the origin of Iranian petroleum products shipped to the UAE.

Petro Grand FZE, Alphabet International DMCC, Swissol Trade DMCC, Alam Al Tharwa General Trading LLC, and Alwaneo LLC Co. are all designated pursuant to E.O. 13846 for on or after November 5, 2018, having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, NIOC, a person included on the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13599.

U.S. Department of The Treasury
Photo credit: David Everett Strickler on Unsplash
Published: 20 March, 2020

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