U.S. Sanctions Chinese Company Connected to Iranian Airline


(Bloomberg) --

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned a Chinese company it alleged has acted as an agent for an Iranian airline accused of transporting weapons and other material for the country’s military and militant groups.

Treasury said Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited acts as Mahan Air’s agent in the Chinese city, providing administration services for the Iranian company. It’s the seventh company Treasury has sanctioned as an agent of Mahan Air, the department said in a statement.

Mahan Air is currently operating charter flights between Iran and Venezuela, according to Treasury, helping to prop up the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by supplying Iranian technicians and equipment for its oil industry in exchange for gold bars, the department said.

“This scheme supports the illegitimate Maduro regime’s efforts to revive its energy production, languished by its corruption and mismanagement,” Treasury said in the statement.

The sanctions are “illegal,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular media briefing in Beijing Wednesday, calling on the U.S. to “change course and correct its mistake.”

“China stands consistently against U.S. unilateral sanctions and so-called long-arm jurisdiction,” Zhao said. “Parties of the international community engage in mutually beneficial cooperation with Iran under the framework of international law that is legitimate and legal and should be respected and protected.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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