March 19, 2020

OFAC designates additional players in the Iranian petroleum market

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury has designated five companies based in the United Arab Emirates pursuant to Executive Order 13846 for having supported the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), which was identified in November 2008 as an entity that is owned or controlled by the government of Iran, and added to the list of Specially Designated Nationals pursuant to Executive Order 13599.  According to OFAC, the five designated companies facilitated the sale of petroleum and petrochemicals from Iran, together purchasing hundreds of thousands of metric tons of products from NIOC in 2019.  OFAC indicated that at least three of the companies falsified documents in order to obscure the origin of these products.  The five companies are Petro Grand FZE, Alphabet International DMCC, Swissol Trade DMCC, Alam Althrwa General Trading LLC, and Alwaneo LLC Co.

As a result of the designations, US property of the designated companies is blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from entering into transactions with them.  Likewise, foreign financial institutions could be subject to sanctions if they knowingly facilitate significant transactions for the designated entities.

US Dept of the Treasury press release