The United States has sold all the petroleum aboard four Iranian ships the US Navy captured earlier this year en route to Venezuela and sanctioned companies and individuals involved in Iran's petrochemical sales, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said on Thursday.
The Treasury Department, meanwhile, imposed sanctions on the individuals and entities responsible for the sale, Demers added.
Demers explained that on July 20, the National Security Division and the US Attorney Office for the District of Columbia filed a complaint in US District Court, which sought forfeiture of the Iranian refined petroleum from four foreign-flagged vessels bound for Venezuela.
The proceeds from the sale of the seized petroleum - more than $40 million - will be provided to the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund after the conclusion of the case, Demers added.
The US Department of Treasury said in a statement that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) had sanctioned eight entities based in Iran, China and Singapore, for their involvement in the sale and purchase of Iranian petrochemical products.
According to the Treasury, petrochemical sales represent a crucial revenue source for the Iranian government, used to finance its illicit activities throughout the Middle East and Venezuela.
The designations include Iranian petrochemical firms Morvarid Petrochemical (Morvarid) and Arya Sasol Polymer Company, as well as Singapore-based Jiaxiang Energy Holding PTE.
Three entities in Hong Kong - Elfo Energy Holding Limited Glory Advanced Limited (Glory Advanced), Jane Shang Co. Limited (Jane Shang), and Sibshur Limited (Sibshur) - were also among those targeted in the Treasury's latest sanctions.