The United States has sanctioned two South African companies along with seven others in China and Hong Kong for allegedly trading in petrochemical products with Iran.
The U.S. Department of State identified the two South African entities as SPI International Proprietary Limited and Main Street 1095 in a statement on Wednesday.
It named the Hong Kong-based companies as McFly Plastic HK Limited; Saturn Oasis Co., Limited and Sea Charming Shipping Company Limited.
The affected Chinese companies are Dalian Golden Sun Import & Export Co., Limited; Tianyi International (Dalian) Co., Limited and Aoxing Ship Management (Shanghai) Ltd.
Also hit by the action is the Social Security Investment Company of the Iranian Armed Forces.
Three Iranians, said to be executive officers of three of the affected companies, are also targets of the latest sanctions.
They are Mohammad Hassan Toulai, Managing Director of the Armed Forces Social Security Investment Company; Hossein Tavakkoli, Director of SPI International Proprietary and Reza Ebadzadeh Semnani, Director of Main Street 1095.
The department accused the South Africa, Hong Kong and China-based companies of “knowingly engaging in a significant transaction for the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of petrochemical products from Iran’’.
The Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, said the affected companies and individuals engaged in activities that could enable the Iranian regime’s violent behaviour.