JERUSALEM, Israel – The Trump administration sanctioned several Chinese firms for allegedly shipping Iranian oil in violation of US sanctions against the Islamic republic.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the measures on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.
“We’re telling China and all nations: Know that we will sanction every violation of sanctionable activity,” Pompeo said.
The new sanctions hit state-owned companies that together are some of the biggest movers of oil in the world. The move signals America’s commitment to a “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran and follows the administration’s release of even more sanctions last week.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did not address the new sanctions against China during his address at the UN Wednesday but said he will not talk with the Trump administration until all sanctions have been lifted from his country.
"The government and people of Iran have remained steadfast against the harshest sanctions in the past one and a half years and will never negotiate with an enemy that seeks to make Iran surrender with the weapon of poverty, pressure, and sanctions," Rouhani said.
After the Rouhani’s speech, the White House announced new visa restrictions on Iranian leaders and their immediate family members.
"I have determined that it is in the interest of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of senior government officials of Iran, and their immediate family members,” Trump said in a written proclamation.
The proclamation notes that there will be exceptions per "United States Government obligations under applicable international agreements."
Pompeo said Wednesday during a press conference alongside Trump that the US is seeking a “peaceful resolution” with Iran.
“We're hoping we can get that way. In the end, it'll be up to the Iranians to make that decision," Pompeo said. "We hope we can get the opportunity to negotiate with them and get an outcome that's good for both them, for the United States to make sure they never have a nuclear weapon and that they can't foment their terror with ballistic missiles and in the way, they have all around the world."