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State Dept. sanctions Chinese, HK officials and entities for supporting Iran

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Iran nuclear weapons program

The U.S. Department of State announced Monday afternoon that it has imposed sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials and entities for supporting Iran‘s cargo shipping entity Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and its subsidiary, Hafez Darya Arya Shipping Company (HDASCO). IRISL is critical to the regime’s ballistic missile, nuclear, and military programs.

The press release cites a United Nations resolution that affects IRISL in justifying these sanctions.

“A provision of UN Security Council Resolution 1929 mandates vigilance when doing business with IRISL and entities owned or controlled by IRISL under certain circumstances,” the press release says. “This provision is now in effect due to the snapback of UN sanctions.”

The sanctions are directed at six entities and two officials for conduct violating the aforementioned rule and that the State Department would carry these out in accordance with Section 1244 of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act enacted in June.

The entities receiving these sanctions are Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd.; Reach Shipping Lines; Delight Shipping Co., Ltd.; Gracious Shipping Co. Ltd.; Noble Shipping Co. Ltd.; and Supreme Shipping Co. Ltd. The press release claims that they all “knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred to Iran significant goods or services used in connection with the shipping sector of Iran.” The latter four, according to the State Department, “each knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred a large container vessel to Iran to be used in connection with the shipping sector of Iran.”

As for the two individuals, they are the CEOs of Reach Holding Group (Shanghai), Eric Chen, and the company’s president, Daniel Y. He.

This all follows the State Department on June 8 designating IRISL and E-Sail Shipping Company Ltd., IRISL’s Shanghai-based subsidiary, “for their proliferation-related conduct” and warning that any stakeholders who continue to be involved with these entities are “at risk of sanctions.”

Additionally, according to the State Department, Reach Holding and its subsidiary, Reach Shipping, “provided services to IRISL, E-Sail, and HDASCO to help these Iranian shipping entities evade the consequences of U.S. sanctions.”

The Department echoed their stern warning to stakeholders in these companies again at the end of the press release, saying: “Today, we reiterate a warning to stakeholders worldwide:  If you do business with IRISL, you risk U.S. sanctions.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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U.S. Commerce Department: Chinese firms are supplying Russian entities

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On Tuesday, the United States Commerce Department said several companies in China are supplying Russia’s military. The announcement was made alongside a “new round of blacklist restrictions for foreign firms aiding Moscow’s war against Ukraine” reports National Review.

“These entities have previously supplied items to Russian entities of concern before February 24, 2022 and continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties after Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” stated an official Commerce Department notice posted to the Federal Register.

“Commerce also blacklisted several Chinese companies and Chinese government research institutes for their work on naval-technology and supplying Iran with U.S. tech in a way that harms America’s national security” adds National Review.

Six companies that are helping further the Russian invasion are also based in Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

National Review reports:

The Commerce Department stopped short of blaming the Chinese government for the sanctions-evasion activity it identified today. Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo previously said that there doesn’t appear to be any “systemic efforts by China to go around our export controls.” The Biden administration has publicly and privately warned Beijing against supporting the Russian war, with White House officials even leaking to the press about an effort to present China’s ambassador in Washington with information about Russian troop movements ahead of the invasion.

While Beijing has not expressed outright support for the invasion, it has used its propaganda networks to back Moscow’s narrative. Meanwhile, top Chinese and Russian officials have moved to solidify the “no-limits” partnership they declared in early February. General secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a call this month, marking the construction of a new bridge between their two countries, during which they reiterated their support for the burgeoning geopolitical alignment.

National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that the U.S. has no indications that Beijing has provided Russia with military equipment. A Finnish think tank, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, estimated on June 12 that Chinese imports of Russian oil since the outset of the conflict have amounted to $13 billion, making China the biggest consumer of the country’s oil exports. Previously, it was Germany. “While Germany cut back on purchases since the start of the war, China’s oil and gas imports from Russia rose in February and remained at a roughly constant level since,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted.

Official advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted incredible video of Ukrainian soldiers sweeping through fields, writing “this is how our fields are de-mined so that farmers can harvest crops.”  On Monday a Russian missile struck a mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where over 1,000 civilians were inside.

“Almost two dozen people were still missing Tuesday one day after a Russian airstrike struck a Ukrainian shopping mall and killed 18 civilians inside…On top of the 18 dead and 21 people missing, Ukrainian Interior Minster Denis Monastyrsky said 59 were injured. Several of the dead were burned beyond recognition” reported the New York Post.

 

 

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