The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on dozens of entities accused of helping Iran evade Washington’s bans on Iran’s access to the global financial system.
The sanctions announced on Thursday covered 39 entities, including many based in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, according to the Treasury website.
The designated entities have been accused of granting Iranian and foreign companies involved in the trade of Iranian oil and petroleum products an access to the international banking system.
The Treasury described the entities as a “shadow banking” network that helped Iran-related companies hide their trade with foreign customers.
Iranian officials have yet to comment on the new sanctions. The Reuters news agency, which first reported on the bans, said it had not received any immediate response to a request for comment from Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York.
That comes as Iranian government has downplays the impact of US sanctions on its ability to export oil and petroleum products and to receive payments for the shipments.
Latest statement by Iranian Oil Ministry and reports by international tanker tracking services show that Iran has been shipping record amounts of oil to Asian customers since late 2022.
Sales of Iranian petroleum products and petrochemicals have also increased over the last year with customs figures showing the country has earned tens of billions of dollars from such exports.
However, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo claimed in a Thursday statement that the new sanctions are a sign of US “ability to disrupt Iran's foreign financial networks.”
Brian O'Toole, a former Treasury Department official, also described the new sanctions as “a pretty big deal” and claimed that they would put a dent in Iran's ability to keep moving oil and get paid for it.