By: Danielle Hatch
On July 22, 2019, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, announced that the Chinese firm, Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited, would be added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list after purchasing oil from Iran. The company, as well as its chief executive Youmin Li, knew that the purchase of crude oil from Iran was a violation of the current US sanctions on Iran. Zhuhai Zhenrong’s purchase came after the expiration of China’s Significant Reduction Exception (SRE) which had allowed China to continue buying oil from Iran until May 2, 2019 without the risk of US sanctions.
All property and interests in property of Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited that are in the US or within the possession or control of a US person, and provides that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in are blocked. The US also imposed several restrictions, including a ban on entry into the US on Youmin Li.
These sanctions are the first to be imposed on a Chinese entity for engaging in oil trade with Iran since the expiration of the SRE waivers.