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US imposes sanctions on Chinese companies for importing Iranian oil

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Chinese companies and their managers for “knowingly transporting oil from Iran” in violation of a US embargo, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

In a speech in New York, Pompeo made clear that the imposition of sanctions was the beginning of the implementation of the threat by President Donald Trump, who pledged Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly to “tighten” the sanctions “as long as Iran’s threatening behavior continues.”

“We tell China and all countries: ‘You have to know that we will impose sanctions on any breach of our sanctions targeting every activity,'” Pompeo said.

He did not identify the companies or people targeted by the new sanctions, which add to a long list of sanctions against the Iranian economy.

Pompeo also announced “new measures,” he did not elaborate, to “separate the IRGC” from the “Iranian economy.”

“The United States will strengthen its efforts to sensitize countries and companies against dealing with entities linked to the Revolutionary Guards, and we warn them that we will punish them if they continue to challenge our threats.”

Pompeo made no mention of any breakthrough at the level of a meeting between President Trump and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, while European and Asian leaders have intensified their efforts since the beginning of the week to hold a meeting between the two men.

This comes as French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday evening that “the conditions for the rapid resumption of negotiations” had “met.”

But Tehran has demanded the lifting of sanctions before any resumption of dialogue.

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