Trying to limit Iran’s access to the global financial system, the US has sanctioned 39 entities, including many based in the UAE and Hong Kong.

Two Turkey-based entities and Iran’s Mehr Petrochemical Company are also blacklisted.

The US Treasury said the “shadow banking” network moves billions of dollars, helping sanctioned Iranian companies such as petrochemical firms hide their trade with foreign customers.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said, “Iran cultivates complex sanctions evasion networks where foreign buyers, exchange houses, and dozens of front companies cooperatively help sanctioned Iranian companies to continue to trade.”

Liu Pengyu, the spokesman for China’s Embassy in Washington, said the US measures were “typical unilateral sanctions and illegal ‘long-arm jurisdiction'” hurting Chinese interests.

“We deplore and reject this move,” he said, and then assailed the US for supporting Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

At the end of January, the Treasury official overseeing sanction, Brian Nelson, traveled to the UAE and Turkey to warn officials about “poor sanctions compliance”.

The US also imposed sanctions on a China-based network which it claims is helping Iran obtain drones.

Five companies and one individual were cited for “supporting Iran’s UAV procurement efforts” with “the sale and shipment of thousands of aerospace components”.

Europeans End INSTEX Financial Channel

European countries have liquidated INSTEX, a financial channel designed to ensure trade with Iran despite US sanctions.

The UK, France, and Germany issued a joint statement on Thursday ending INSTEX. The instrument was launched in January 2019, two months after the Trump Administration imposed comprehensive sanctions on Tehran, including on its energy industries. Members included Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kana’ani responded on Friday:

Unfortunately, European governments failed in launching INSTEX effectively…and they did not implement the necessary measures for activating the instrument

Tehran had never pinned hope on INSTEX as it has been conducting its international trade through other international financial and banking channels.