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US sanctions Chinese company, chief executive, for importing Iranian oil

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen during his news conference at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on July 12, 2018. (Jaap Arriens/Sipa USA/TNS)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The United States has imposed sanctions on a Chinese company for transporting Iranian oil, a move that violates U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on July 22 that Chinese company Zhuhai Zhenrong and one of its executives knowingly violated U.S. sanctions banning the import of Iranian oil.

“As part of that maximum pressure campaign, I am announcing that the United States is imposing sanctions on the Chinese entity Zhuhai Zhenrong and its chief executive Youmin Li,” Pompeo said in a speech in the U.S. city of Orlando. “They violated U.S. law by accepting crude oil.”

China was one of eight countries originally granted sanctions waivers that expired in May and have not been renewed by Washington.

Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that curbed Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Since then, Trump has reimposed tough economic sanctions on Iran’s key industries, including its crucial oil and financial sectors.