Mumbai firm faces US sanctions for Iran oil deal

The company was one of eight to be hit in the latest round of sanctions. The others are based in the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and China.

IANSUpdated: Friday, September 30, 2022, 11:53 PM IST
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New York: In possibly the first action against an Indian company for allegedly dealing in Iranian petroleum products, the US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Mumbai-based Tibalaji Petrochem Private Limited.

On Thursday, the department said the company “purchased millions of dollars worth” petrochemical products for “onward shipment to China”.

The company was one of eight to be hit in the latest round of sanctions. The others are based in the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and China.

The sanctions came shortly after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar wrapped up his visit to Washington, DC, where he met several top officials, including Secretary of State Antony J Blinken, Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin III, Secretary of Commerce Gail Raimondo and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

Asked by a reporter if the Iran sanctions came up in Jaishankar's meeting with Blinken, State Department Deputy Spokesperson Dev Patel said they had nothing beyond what they had said at their news conference.

India has abided by the sanctions imposed by the US on Tehran and its companies have refrained from importing petroleum products from Iran.

The alleged deals made by Tibalaji, which describes itself on its website as a “growing petrochemical trading company”, do not appear to be for importing Iranian material to India but to China.

The Treasury Department said that under the sanctions, all the properties and interests in the US of the eight companies or those in which they have at least 50% interest must be blocked and reported to its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

This applies also to any Americans who may have control over the assets of those companies and persons involved in certain transactions with them could also face sanctions or enforcement actions, the department said.

It added that Tibalaji bought “petrochemical products, including methanol and base oil, for onward shipment to China” through deals brokered by Triliance Petrochemical Co Ltd Network that had been sanctioned earlier. Triliance is based in Hong Kong with branches in Iran, China and the UAE.

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