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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration yesterday hit seven foreign companies, including Venezuela’s state-owned oil company and an Israeli shipping firm, with sanctions for doing business with Iran that helps fund its nuclear program.
“All of these companies have engaged in activities related to the supply of refined petroleum products to Iran, including the direct supply of gasoline and related products,’’ Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg said in announcing the sanctions. US officials say Iran uses revenue from its energy sector to fund its nuclear program. “Those who continue to irresponsibly support Iran’s energy sector and help facilitate Iran’s efforts to evade US sanctions will face serious consequences.’’
The administration imposed separate sanctions on more than 15 people and companies in China, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and elsewhere for illicit trading in missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.
In addition to the Iran sanctions, the administration imposed penalties on 16 individuals and firms from Belarus, China, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela for violating the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act by selling or buying sensitive equipment and technology related to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and ballistic missile systems.
Those sanctioned will be barred from any US government contracts, US assistance, banned from purchasing American defense articles, and denied licenses to sell them for two years.
The moves were "imperialist aggression", Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said.
Under the sanctions, PDVSA cannot enter into contracts with the US government and will be barred from import-export financing.
But the company's sale of oil to the US and the operations of its US-based subsidiary Citgo are unaffected.
"It's obvious this is just a political response by the Obama government to pressures from the Senate which has a position very hostile to the Chavez government," the source said.
As well as PDVSA, the US imposed sanctions on firms based in the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Singapore, Monaco and Jersey.
This is why I dont understand how we can say "oh dont worry about ____, they dont have the technology to hit us over here". But I dont understand alot of what my country is doing atm either.