US sanctions on Iran petrochemical sector mere propaganda: Analysts

Analysts and officials say such punitive measures are no concern for Iran, because clients of the Iranian petrochemical companies won’t abide by the sanctions.

9 June 2019
ID : 22027
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Analysts and officials say such punitive measures are no concern for Iran, because clients of the Iranian petrochemical companies won’t abide by the sanctions.

File photo shows a view of Nouri Petrochemical Complex, in Assalouyeh, Iran in the South Pars Gas Filed on the northern coast of the Persian Gulf, Iran. ©AP

Analysts and officials believe the new US sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical sector won’t yield the desired effects Washington is pursuing.

Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution think tank described the latest U.S. sanctions as “a natural next step in what I think is a deliberately redundant array of restrictions,” according to Reuters.

“The administration is banking on the overlapping authorities and obstacles to compound the pressure on the Iranians and create a sense that the entire [Iranian] economy is off limits,” she added.

A former Treasury official, who asked not to be named, said the new sanctions would have little effect because most multinationals had already ceased dealing with Iran, and described them as “a public relations” move.

“It’s a good way of keeping the political pressure on the front page,” the former official said.

The United States sanctioned Iran’s largest petrochemical holding group Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC) on Friday for indirectly supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a step it said aimed to dry up revenues to the Iranian military unit.

The Treasury said it had also sanctioned the PGPIC holding group’s network of 39 subsidiary petrochemical companies and foreign-based sales agents. PGPIC and its units have 40% of Iran’s petrochemical production capacity and account for 50% of Iran’s petrochemical exports, it said.

Alauddin Borujerdi, a member of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy parliamentary Commission said Iran’s petrochemical clients won’t abide by US sanctions because of their own interests.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran expects others countries not to follow such US antagonistic policies because these sanctions is barbaric pillage,” he said.

“Sanctioning the petrochemical industry aims at agitating psychological propaganda and the western countries known that they rely on the Iranian petrochemical industry,” Borujerdi stressed.

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