Vietnam asks US to lift sanctions on petrochemical firm

By Vu Ngoc   December 17, 2020 | 03:51 am PT
Vietnam asks US to lift sanctions on petrochemical firm
A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005. Photo by Reuters/Raheb Homavandi.
Vietnam requested the U.S. Thursday to lift sanctions imposed on a Vietnamese petrochemical corporation, rejecting allegations it broke U.N. resolutions on Iran.

The U.S. Department of State said Wednesday it was imposing sanctions on the Vietnam Gas and Chemicals Transportation Corporation for "knowingly engaging, on or after November 5, 2018, in a significant transaction for the transport of petroleum products from Iran."

The sanction order also applied to Vo Ngoc Phung, who is serving as a principal executive officer of the company, it added.

Vietnam's Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meet: "The relations between Vietnam and Iran have always been open, transparent and legal. Transactions between Vietnam and Iran are civilian goods, which do not violate the United Nations sanctions."

She said Vietnam regrets the U.S. decision and requests that the sanctions are lifted so that normal business and economic activities of Vietnamese businesses are not affected.

As a U.N. member state, Vietnam always abided by the body’s resolutions and strictly punishes violations, she added.

Besides the Vietnam Gas and Chemicals Transportation Corporation, U.S. sanctions were also imposed on two other Chinese companies and two UAE companies.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury alleged that the four aforementioned companies have facilitated "the export of Iranian petrochemical products by Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (Triliance), an entity designated by Treasury in January 2020."

"These China and United Arab Emirates based companies have provided Triliance with critical shipping services or conducted financial transactions on behalf of the company, enabling Triliance to continue brokering and moving Iranian petrochemical exports."

The U.S. has initiated economic sanctions on Iran, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism.

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