US hits Iran petrochemical group PGPIC with sanctions

The US on Friday (June 7th) hit Iran's petrochemical group PGPIC with economic sanctions due to its ties with the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), AFP reported.

The move aims to choke off financing to Iran’s largest and most profitable petrochemical group and extends to its 39 subsidiaries and "foreign-based sales agents", the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

"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," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

The Treasury warned that international companies continuing to partner with PGPIC or subsidiaries and sales agents "will themselves be exposed to US sanctions".

It said it is penalizing PGPIC due to its links to the economic arm of the IRGC, known as Khatam al-Anbiya.

The sanctions prohibit the firm and its subsidiaries from accessing the US market or financial system, including through other foreign companies, and blocks all funds or property that is in the US or held by a US firm.

"By targeting this network we intend to deny funding to key elements of Iran's petrochemical sector that provide support to the IRGC," Mnuchin said.

The PGPIC group holds 40% of Iran's total petrochemical production capacity and is responsible for 50% of the country's petrochemical exports, the Treasury said.

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