The US Treasury Department slapped sanctions Friday on a network of six individuals and four companies for activities of evading the US-imposed oil sanctions on Iran.
The latest action targeted Seyed Seyyedi, an Iranian businessman and the director of Sima General Trading; a network of companies based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that Seyyedi controls; and representatives of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO) Sarl based in Britain and Switzerland.
The four companies listed for the latest sanctions include the UAE-based KASB International LLC, Petro Royal FZE and AA Energy FZCO, all controlled by Seyyedi, and Swiss Management Services Sarl, a Swiss company controlled and used by NICO Sarl to continue its operations on behalf of Iran, the Treasury Department said.
In addition to Seyyedi, Mohmmad Moinie, commercial director of the Switzerland-based NICO Sarl, Reza Parsaei and Seyyed Mohamad Ali Khatibi Tabatabaei, co-directors of the NIOC International Affairs (London) Ltd., and Seyed Mohaddes and Mohammed Ziracchian Zadeh, co-directors of the NIOC (UK) Ltd., were also targeted for the latest US sanctions.
The US government has accused Tehran of using front companies, businessmen and financial institutions to engage in deceptive transactions that cover the Iranian government's involvement in oil trade and avoid the US-led sanctions.
Under the sanctions, transactions by US citizens or through the US with any of these individuals and companies are generally prohibited, and any assets they may have under US jurisdiction are blocked.
Foreign persons and financial institutions that facilitate transactions for such persons or provide them with material support may also be exposed to sanctions.
The United States has imposed crippling economic sanctions on Iran over its alleged program to make a nuclear weapon, though Tehran insists that the program is solely for the purpose of scientific research and civilian energy use.