One of them, Zhuhai Zhenrong Company, based in China, is Iran’s largest supplier of refined petroleum, the State Department said in a statement Thursday.
Zhenrong brokered the sale of over $500 million from July 2010 to January 2011, according to the State Department.
Kuo Oil (S) Pte. Ltd. (Kuo), based in Singapore, “provided over $25 million in refined petroleum to Iran between late 2010 and early 2011,” the statement said.
FAL Oil Company Limited (FAL), based in the United Arab Emirates, provided Iran with over $70 million in refined petroleum in late 2010.
The Obama administration has, in recent weeks, intensified the Iran sanctions at its disposal and is contemplating targeting third parties dealing with the Central Bank of Iran, which would effectively cut off much of Iran’s economy from the West.
The United States is leading Western nations that want Iran to make transparent its nuclear weapons program.
Until now, ther Obama administration has resisted targeting Chinese companies, hoping instead to persuade China to help ratchet up Iran’s isolation.
The sanctions target refined petroleum providers because Iran, while a major crude producer, lacks refinement capacities.
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