The United States imposed new sanctions Thursday against several companies that facilitate trade in Iranian oil and petrochemical products.
The U.S. Treasury Department issued a statement and warned it would take more measures to apply its economic restrictions against the Islamic Republic.
'The United States is committed to severely restricting Iran's illicit oil and petrochemical sales,' said Brian Nelson, undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.
The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control targeted 'an international network of companies involved in the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in petrochemical and petroleum products' to destinations in South and East Asia, the statement said.
Treasury's actions target 'Iranian brokers and several front companies in the UAE, Hong Kong and India that have facilitated financial transfers and shipping of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products,' the statement said.
The U.S. State Department also designated two entities based in the People's Republic of China, Zhonggu Storage and Transportation Co. Ltd. and WS Shipping Co. Ltd., for their involvement in Iran's petrochemical trade, according to the statement.
The Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment, Reuters reported.
U.S. sanctions on Iran have accelerated in recent months, as administration officials try to bring Tehran back to negotiations for a return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
'So long as Iran refuses a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the United States will continue to enforce its sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products,' Nelson said.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.