U.S. Sanctions Seven Companies

May 24, 2011
Seven companies have been sanctioned under the amended Iran Sanctions Act. The following is a State Department statement issued on May 24, 2011:
 
       Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has decided to impose sanctions on seven companies under the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) of 1996, as amended by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) of 2010, for their activities in support of Iran's energy sector.
 
       These companies are PCCI (Jersey/Iran), Royal Oyster Group (UAE), Speedy Ship (UAE/Iran), Tanker Pacific (Singapore), Ofer Brothers Group (Israel), Associated Shipbroking (Monaco), and Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) (Venezuela).
 
       These are the first sanctions imposed by the United States for refined-petroleum related activities under ISA since it was amended by CISADA. By imposing these sanctions, the Secretary sends a stern and clear message to companies around the world: those who continue to irresponsibly support Iran's energy sector and help facilitate Iran’s efforts to evade U.S. sanctions will face serious consequences.
 
       Petrochemical Commercial Company International aka PCCI (Jersey); Royal Oyster Group (UAE); and Speedy Ship aka Sepahan Oil Company or SPD (UAE/Iran): These firms are among the largest current suppliers of refined petroleum products to Iran and all three regularly engaged in deceptive practices in order to ship these products to Iran and evade U.S. sanctions. The sanctions we have imposed on these firms will prohibit them from U.S. foreign exchange transactions, U.S. banking transactions, and all U.S. property transactions.
 
       Tanker Pacific (Singapore), Ofer Brothers Group (Israel), and Associated Shipbroking (Monaco): These companies are being sanctioned for their respective roles in a September 2010 transaction that provided a tanker valued at $8.65 million to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), an entity that has been designated by the United States, and the European Union for its role in supporting Iran's proliferation activities.
 
       We believe that Tanker Pacific and Ofer Brothers Group failed to exercise due diligence and did not heed publicly available and easily obtainable information that would have indicated that they were dealing with IRISL. The Secretary will hold companies accountable, as required by the ISA, when they know or “should have known” they were providing sanctionable goods or services to Iran. With the imposition of today’s sanctions, Tanker Pacific and Ofer Brothers Group are barred from securing financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, from obtaining loans over $10 million from U.S. financial institutions, and from receiving U.S. export licenses.
 
        Associated Shipbroking knowingly acted on behalf of an IRISL front company. Accordingly, with the imposition of today’s sanctions, Associated Shipbroking is now prohibited from U.S. foreign exchange transactions, U.S. banking transactions and all U.S. property transactions.
 
       Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA): PDVSA, the state-owned oil company of Venezuela, has delivered at least two cargoes of reformate to Iran between December 2010 and March 2011, worth approximately $50 million. Reformate is a blending component that improves the quality of gasoline. The sanctions we have imposed on PDVSA prohibit the company from competing for U.S. government procurement contracts, from securing financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and from obtaining U.S. export licenses. These sanctions do not apply to PDVSA subsidiaries and do not prohibit the export of crude oil to the United States.
 
       The United States is aggressively working with international partners to maintain pressure on the Government of Iran to comply with its international nuclear obligations. The sanctions announced today are an important step toward that goal, as they target Iran's ability to acquire and utilize resources in support of its illicit nuclear activities.
 
        For more information, go to http://www.state.gov/iransanctions/index.htm.
 

FACT SHEET: Companies reducing energy-related business with Iran:
 
Refined Petroleum
        The Turkish refiner Tupras cancelled contracts to supply gasoline to Iran.
 
        French oil group Total, Royal Dutch Shell, Kuwait’s Independent Petroleum Group, India’s Reliance and Malaysia’s Petronas, have all stopped sales of refined product in 2010.
 
        Swiss energy traders Vitol, Glencore, and Trafigura all publicly committed in March 2010 not to supply refined petroleum products to Iran.
 
        The Russian oil firm Lukoil announced that it had ceased gasoline sales to Iran. After press reports to the contrary, Lukoil re-confirmed this commitment in an open letter to Congress and in a public statement in 2010.
 
        BP, Shell, Q8, Total, and OMV have all stopped supplying jet fuel to Iran Air.
Germany's ThyssenKrupp said recently it would go above and beyond sanctions requirements and freeze all new business with Iran.
 
Upstream Projects 
        Shell, Total, ENI, Statoil and INPEX have all ended or are in the process of terminating their activities in Iran. All five companies have committed not to engage in any new activities there.
 
        In addition to Shell, Repsol has abandoned negotiations over development of phases 13 and 14 of the South Pars gas field. They have committed to us not to engage in any further discussions with Iran.
 
        BP announced in mid-November 2010 that it will stop production at its North Sea Rhum gas field, which it co-owns with the Iranian Oil Co., to ensure compliance with the European Union sanctions against Iran.
 
        South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction announced on July 1 that it had cancelled a $1.2 billion gas processing project in Iran.
 
        A planned Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will not be used to transport gas from Iran to Europe, the partners announced on Sept. 15.
 
        The German firm Linde, which had been the only supplier of gas liquefaction technology to Iran, has stopped all business with the country. Iran has announced it will not go forward with any new LNG projects.
 
        India’s largest private refiner, Reliance Industries, told Reuters on April 1 that it would not import crude oil from Iran in the 2010 fiscal year.
 
Shipping
        Lloyds of London announced on July 9 it would not insure or reinsure petroleum shipments going into Iran.
 
        Key shipping associations have created clauses in contracts that enable ship owners to refuse to deliver refined petroleum cargoes to Iran.
 
        Hong Kong shipping company NYK Line Ltd., announced that it had decided to withdraw from trade with Iran.
 
Equipment and other
        Local trade and international press reported Sept. 14 that South Korea’s Kia Motors had stopped exporting cars, assembly kits, and spare parts to Iran as of August in anticipation of South Korean sanctions restricting trade with Iran.
 
        The luxury carmaker Daimler announced in April it would sell its 30 percent stake in an Iranian engine maker and freeze the planned export to Iran of cars and trucks. Toyota has also stopped shipping cars to Iran.
 
        Caterpillar prohibited its non-U.S. subsidiaries from accepting orders that would be sent to Iran.
 
        The Swiss firm ABB Ltd.; the Italian defense, aerospace, energy and transportation conglomerate Finmeccanica; Ingersoll-Rand Plc, which makes air compressors and cooling systems; and the German engineering conglomerate Siemens have all withdrawn from doing business with Iran.
 
        The chemical manufacturer Huntsman Corp. announced its indirect foreign subsidiaries would stop selling products to third parties in Iran.
 
        For more information, go to http://www.state.gov/iransanctions/index.htm.