UANI Statement on Imposition of New Sanctions Against Iran’s Petrochemical Industry

(New York, N.Y.) – United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Chairman Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and Chief Executive Officer Ambassador Mark D. Wallace released the following statement today on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s decision to sanction Iran’s largest petrochemical holding group, the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC), and its 39 subsidiary companies:

“UANI applauds the Trump Administration for once again demonstrating its commitment to applying maximum pressure against the Iranian regime. Petrochemicals are Iran’s second-largest export industry. They turn up in thousands of products, including plastics, rubber, fertilizers and cosmetics. Petrochemical sales generate $13 billion annually for the regime, which is then diverted to Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) like the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran’s terror proxies. Targeting the PGPIC will constrain the regime’s hegemonic ambitions and constrict the IRGC’s ability to cause chaos throughout the region.

“UANI encourages the Treasury Department to continue to apply pressure on the key components of Iran’s domestic petrochemical industry that remain unsanctioned. Treasury has previously imposed sanctions on specific petrochemical complexes like Bou Ali Sina, a PGPIC subsidiary. It should now do the same for all Iranian petrochemical complexes, like Razi at Bandar Imam Khomeini port and Zagros, which just yesterday restarted its methanol plant at Assaluyeh. Moreover, Iranian petrochemical exports cannot function without help from international shippers, which continue to carry high-value, discounted cargos of ammonia and urea to ports especially in China, India, and Brazil. Treasury should make it clear it will not brook any excuses from foreign shippers, some of whom appear to be ‘going dark’ by turning off their satellite systems to evade scrutiny.

"We also encourage the Treasury Department to warn all other entities that make it possible for Iran to continue exporting petrochemicals – whether cargo agents, traders, importing companies, maritime insurers, or classification companies – to stay away from any involvement in Iranian petrochemicals. This is true ‘maximum pressure,’ and will help bring Iran into compliance with the 12 basic measures identified by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last year through the Trump Administration’s campaign of maximum pressure.”

In a op-ed last month, Senator Lieberman and Ambassador Wallace made the case for the Trump Administration to apply sanctions to Iran’s petrochemical industry, which is controlled by the regime and the IRGC. The IRGC was designated as an FTO earlier this year. In their op-ed, they stated, “To truly achieve ‘maximum pressure’ on the regime, President Trump needs to make his sanctions airtight across Iran’s economy. This means plugging the sanctions gaps on the other critical pillar of Iran’s energy export-dependent economy: petrochemicals.”

To read the op-ed, please click here.