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U.S. Sanctions Chinese Companies For Dealing With Iranian Shipping Line

A truck carrying containers from the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) arrives at a depot in northern Singapore. (file photo)

The United States said on October 19 that it has blacklisted two Chinese men and six Chinese entities for their dealings with an Iranian shipping company that the United States sanctioned earlier this year.

The previously targeted Iranian company is the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), the U.S. State Department said.

"Today, we reiterate a warning to stakeholders worldwide: If you do business with IRISL, you risk U.S. sanctions," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in the statement.

Pompeo said the international community has long recognized that the Iranian regime uses the IRISL and its subsidiaries to transport proliferation-sensitive items intended for Iran’s ballistic-missile and military programs.

The State Department designated IRISL and its Shanghai-based subsidiary E-Sail Shipping on June 8 and warned that any stakeholder who continued doing business with IRISL or E-Sail was at risk of sanctions, Pompeo said.

Since then, IRISL and E-Sail, Reach Holding Group (Shanghai), and Reach Shipping Lines arranged for port berths for IRISL vessels at Chinese ports. Reach Shipping Lines also supplied four large container vessels to another IRISL subsidiary, the State Department said.

The department listed Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) and Reach Shipping Lines among those sanctioned on October 19. The other entities are Delight Shipping, Gracious Shipping, Noble Shipping, and Supreme Shipping.

The individuals targeted are the chief executive and president of Reach Holding Group (Shanghai).

As a result of being sanctioned, the entities’ and individuals’ assets that fall under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen and U.S. persons are generally barred from dealing with them.

The sanctions are the latest in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw unilaterally from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal under which Tehran committed to limit its nuclear activities in return for relief from economic sanctions.

Trump has argued the deal did not go far enough and has said economic pressure will force Tehran to end its nuclear program and to stop supporting terrorists. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.

With reporting by Reuters
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