US Sanctions Iranian Petrochemicals Company Linked to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
The US Treasury Department on Friday announced a new layer of economic pressure on the Iranian regime, with tough sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic’s main petrochemicals company.
“The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today against Iran’s largest and most profitable petrochemical holding group, Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC), for providing financial support to Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters (Khatam al-Anbiya), the engineering conglomerate of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC),” a Treasury Department statement said.
The elite arm of the Iranian military, the IRGC and its satellite companies dominate the country’s economy as well. The IRGC’s “Quds Force” conducts terrorist operations abroad and has been the main military backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Last April, the IRGC was formally designated as a terrorist organization by US President Donald Trump’s administration.
“By targeting this network we intend to deny funding to key elements of Iran’s petrochemical sector that provide support to the IRGC,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “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.”
Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker noted as well that the IRGC “systemically infiltrates critical sectors of the Iranian economy to enrich their coffers, while engaging in a host of other malign activities.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took to Twitter to applaud the move, which he emphasized was about placing “maximum pressure on Iran’s regime.”
Maximum pressure on #Iran's regime continues today. @USTreasury imposed sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical sector, which funds the IRGC. The U.S. will deny the regime the money it needs to destabilize the Middle East. https://t.co/mUL5rYKYsM
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 7, 2019