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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. slaps Iran sanctions on 3 energy companies

RIA Novosti

03:12 13/01/2012 WASHINGTON, January 13 (RIA Novosti) - The United States has unilaterally imposed sanctions on three foreign energy firms involved in the provision of refined petroleum products to Iran, the U.S. Department of State said.

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton imposed sanctions on three companies under the Iran Sanctions Act, as amended by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA), for conducting business with Iran’s energy sector,” the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

These three firms are Zhuhai Zhenrong Company based in China, Kuo Oil (S) Pte. Ltd. (Kuo) energy trading firm based in Singapore, and FAL Oil Company Limited (FAL), a UAE-based independent energy trader.

According to the State Department, Zhenrong alone brokered the delivery of over $500 million in gasoline to Iran between July 2010 and January 2011.

“All three companies are barred from receiving U.S. export licenses, U.S. Export Import Bank financing, and loans over $10 million from U.S. financial institutions,” the statement said, adding that the sanctions targeted individual companies rather than respective goverments or countries.

Western nations suspect Iran, which is already under numerous international sanctions, of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program but Tehran insists it needs nuclear power solely for civilian purposes.

The European Union’s foreign ministers are expected to make a decision on an Iranian oil embargo at a January 23 meeting.

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