Trump administration tightens the screws on Iran by sanctioning sanctions evaders

“The Trump administration remains committed to targeting those contributing to Iran’s attempts to evade U.S. sanctions,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner

The Trump administration is tightening the screws on Iran, upping sanctions on private companies and putting the spotlight on governments that continue to help the theocratic regime evade U.S. sanctions.

The Treasury Department has recently placed sanctions on 11 petrochemical firms still doing business with Iran, Fox News reported on Sunday, including three in the United Arab Emirates, as well as Chinese and Hong Kong concerns.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “The Iranian regime uses revenue from petrochemical sales to continue its financing of terrorism and destabilizing foreign agenda.”

“The Trump administration remains committed to targeting those contributing to Iran’s attempts to evade U.S. sanctions by facilitating the illicit sale of Iranian petroleum products around the world,” he added.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft sought to focus on governments that are collaborating with Iran, pointing a finger at the Venezuelan dictatorship led by Nicolas Maduro, which is propping up Iran despite Venezuela’s disastrous economic situation.

“The oppressive governments in Caracas and Tehran rob their people of basic freedom,” Craft said. “Their unholy alliance must be opposed for the sake of the international community and the tens of millions of people in their respective countries who deserve democracy and a better future.”

“Venezuelan and Iranian citizens have been brutalized by their rulers for far too long,” she asserted. “It is critical to cut off the financial means for these terrible governments that cling to power by killing, torturing, and intimidating their own people.”

Venezuelan dissident and former diplomat Isaias Medina told Fox that the Venezuelan and Iranian tyrannies are closely aligned.

“The Venezuela and Iran alliance could not be stronger, described by Chavez as ‘Sister Revolutions’ due to their anti-American sentiments and the need to vanquish U.S. values and principles,” he said.

“Sanctions evasion has been one of many goals of the Castro-Chavista regime since the get-go with Iran, now both under the same sanction grip have strengthened creative ties between them,” he added. “Illicit arms, drug trafficking, and money laundering have been their objectives.”