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US imposes fresh sanctions on Iran as Donald Trump's term nears end

The US blacklisted 12 Iranian steel and metals makers and three foreign-based sales agents of an Iranian metals and mining holding company, seeking to deprive Iran of revenues

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Donald Trump | New US sanctions on Tehran | US sanctions

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

President Donald Trump speaks at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday blacklisted a Chinese company that makes elements for steel production, 12 Iranian steel and metals makers and three foreign-based sales agents of an Iranian metals and mining holding company, seeking to deprive Iran of revenues as U.S. President Donald Trump's term winds down.

The U.S. Treasury Department, in a statement, named the China-based company as Kaifeng Pingmei New Carbon Materials Technology Co Ltd. (KFCC), saying it specialized in the manufacture of carbon materials and provided thousands of metric tonnes of materials to Iranian steel companies between December 2019 and June 2020.

No one at KFCC, which makes graphite electrodes, was available for comment on Wednesday. Filings show the company is owned by Henan Yicheng New Energy, which said it was unaware of the situation.

Shares in Yicheng, which is ultimately controlled by China's Henan province, fell as much as 6.7% to a two-week low on Wednesday. When Yicheng was buying KFCC in 2019, it said exports - to Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe - accounted for about half of KFCC's core business.

Among the 12 Iranian companies blacklisted are the Pasargad Steel Complex and the Gilan Steel Complex Co, both of which were designated under Executive Order 13871 for operating in the Iranian steel sector.

The others are: Iran-based Middle East Mines and Mineral Industries Development Holding Co (MIDHCO), Khazar Steel Co, Vian Steel Complex, South Rouhina Steel Complex, Yazd Industrial Constructional Steel Rolling Mill, West Alborz Steel Complex, Esfarayen Industrial Complex, Bonab Steel Industry Complex, Sirjan Iranian Steel and Zarand Iranian Steel Co.

The Treasury said it was also designating MIDHCO's Germany-based subsidiary GMI Projects Hamburg GmbH, its China-based World Mining Industry Co Ltd and U.K.-based GMI Projects Ltd for being owned or controlled by MIDHCO.

"The Trump Administration remains committed to denying revenue flowing to the Iranian regime as it continues to sponsor terrorist groups, support oppressive regimes, and seek weapons of mass destruction," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

Trump's term ends on Jan. 20, when Democrat President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in to succeed him.

 

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, Daphne Psaledakis and Doina Chiacu; additional reporting by Zhang Min and Tom Daly; writing by Arshad Mohammed; editing by Doina Chiacu and Jonathan Oatis)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, January 06 2021. 13:15 IST
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