US imposes sanctions on Syrian oil firm
Washington: The US on Friday imposed sanctions on the Syrian state-run oil company Sytrol for conducting business with Iran`s energy sector, in a bid to cut off revenues to the Iranian and Syrian regimes.
The Obama Administration imposed sanctions on Sytrol under the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), the State Department said in a statement.
"The US remains deeply concerned about the close ties shared by the Iranian and Syrian regimes and is committed to using every tool available to prevent regional destabilisation," it said.
In April of this year, Syria and Iran engaged in two-way trade in the energy sector, in which Syria sent 33,000 metric tons of gasoline to Iran.
The United States has determined that the value of the gasoline delivered by Sytrol to Iran in April was over USD 36 million, significantly exceeding the monetary thresholds for triggering sanctions under this law.
"This kind of trade allows Iran to continue developing its nuclear programme while providing the Syrian government with resources to oppress its own people," the statement said.
"Though these sanctions are a direct result of Syria`s provision of gasoline to Iran, the US views Iran?s broader support for the Assad regime as completely unjustifiable," it said.
Iran, the State Department said is actively advising, supplying, and assisting the Syrian security forces and regime-backed militias that are carrying out gross human rights abuses against the Syrian people.
Iran is also providing the Assad regime with equipment to monitor opposition activity on the Internet.
"Today`s sanctions action sends a stark message: the United States stands resolutely against sales of refined petroleum product to Iran and will employ all available measures to bring it to a halt," it said.
"Moreover, any business that continues to irresponsibly support Iran’s energy sector or helps facilitate either nation’s efforts to evade US sanctions will face serious consequences," it said.
Western nations led by US have accused Iran of pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons programme, a charge denied by Tehran. Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
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