The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on Chinese and other companies it said helped sell tens of millions of dollars worth of Iranian oil and petrochemicals to East Asia, in its bid to increase the pressure on Tehran to stop its nuclear program.

The US Treasury and State Departments imposed sanctions on a total of six companies, four based in Hong Kong, one in Singapore and one in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in actions that were announced in separate statements. .

The Treasury accused the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Co. (PGPICC), one of Iran’s largest petrochemical brokers, of using the companies to facilitate the sale of Iranian oil and petrochemical products to East Asia.

Treasury targeted UAE-based Blue Cactus Heavy Equipment and Machinery Spare Parts Trading LLC, which it said helped sell millions of dollars worth of Iranian-origin oil products to Iran-based Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. Hong Kong, which had already been sanctioned by the United States.

Hong Kong-based Farwell Canyon HK Limited and Shekufei International Trading Co., Limited were also singled out for facilitating such sales for onward shipment to East Asian buyers.

The Treasury accused PGPICC of using the bank accounts of these companies, along with those of Hong Kong and Malaysia-based PZNFR Trading Limited, to raise millions of dollars.

Separately, the State Department sanctioned Singapore-based Pioneer Ship Management PTE LTD for allegedly managing a vessel carrying Iranian oil products, and Golden Warrior Shipping, Co. Ltd., for alleged oil-related transactions. and Iranian petroleum products.

These actions immobilize assets located in the United States and generally prohibit Americans from dealing with them. Others who carry out certain transactions with the companies in question are also at risk of being sanctioned.

The measures represent the third round of Iran-related US sanctions against Chinese companies in the past two months.

Reacting to the new sanctions, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a statement that Iran will respond “decisively and firmly” to the continuation of sanctions by the White House.

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