The U.S. on Nov. 20 said it sanctioned six individuals and three entities to disrupt an Iranian-Russian network that it said was providing millions of barrels of oil to the Syrian government and funding militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
U.S. officials said Russia facilitated the delivery of oil from Iran to Syria, and that a variety of mechanisms were used in an attempt to conceal the shipments and oil-related payments.
"Today we are acting against a complex scheme Iran and Russia have used to bolster the [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad regime and generate funds for Iranian malign activity," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
"Central Bank of Iran officials continue to exploit the international financial system," he added.
Among those targeted are Syrian national Mohammad Amer Alchwiki and his Russia-based company, Global Vision Group, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Other targets include: Syrian national Hajji Abd Al-Nasir, Lebanon national Muhammad Qasim Al-Bazzal and Russian national Andrey Dogaev as well as Iranian nationals Rasoul Sajjad and Hossein Yaghoubi Miab, the statement said.
The U.S. Treasury's 'designation' of the individuals and entities effectively cuts them off from the global financial system by blocking any of their assets under U.S. jurisdiction and warning non-U.S. institutions against dealing with them.
Asia's top refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) boosted spending on exploration and production by 41% last year as crude oil reserves tumbled at its biggest oilfield.
Tanzania says it plans to conclude talks in September with a group of foreign oil and gas companies led by Norway's Equinor on developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the East African country.
Comments from executive contrast with company’s previous statements.