U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI
Sept. 26 (UPI) — The Trump administration banned senior Iranian government officials from entering the United States and imposed sanctions against Chinese companies for dealing in Persian oil as part of its effort to force the Middle Eastern country back to the negotiation table over its nuclear program.
The order came hours after the U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions against six Chinese companies and five Chinese nationals for transporting Iranian oil.
The sanctions imposed Wednesday block all U.S. property and assets owned by the companies and individuals from being sold or transferred. The five people are also banned from entering the United States.
Pompeo told reporters on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City that the United States is looking for an opportunity to negotiate with Iran.
“We want peace,” Pompeo said. “We want a peaceful resolution with the Islamic Republic of Iran. We’re hoping we can get that way. In the end, it’ll be up to the Iranians to make that decision.”