Monday, January 16, 2012
On the same day US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denied US involvement in the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist last week, she also announced that the US is turning up the pressure on Iran by imposing sanctions on three companies for conducting business with Iran’s energy sector. These three firms are Zhuhai Zhenrong Company (Zhenrong) of China, Kuo Oil (S) Pte. Ltd. (Kuo) based in Singapore and FAL Oil Company Limited (FAL) of UAE.
The sanctions were imposed under the Iran Sanctions Act, as amended by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) and in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which recognized the potential connection between Iran’s revenues derived from its energy sector and the funding of its proliferation sensitive nuclear activities.
The sanctions apply only to the sanctioned companies, and not to their governments or countries.
Zhenrong is the largest supplier of refined petroleum product to Iran. The US determined that Zhenrong brokered the delivery of over $500 million in gasoline to Iran between July 2010 and January 2011, with individual deals entered into worth significantly more than the $1 million threshold under U.S. law and the total values of the transactions well above the $5 million threshold for sanctionable activities within a 12-month period.
Kuo is an energy trading firm based in Singapore. The US has determined that Kuo provided over $25 million in refined petroleum to Iran between late 2010 and early 2011.
FAL is a large independent energy trader based in the UAE. The US has determined that FAL provided over $70 million in refined petroleum to Iran over multiple shipments in late 2010.
Under the new sanctions, all three of these companies are barred from receiving U.S. export licenses, U.S. Export Import Bank financing, and loans over $10 million from U.S. financial institutions.