US Imposes Sanctions on Iranian Individuals, Companies
The US Treasury Department on Thursday blacklisted 20 Iran- and Iraq-based companies, officials and individuals, accusing them of supporting terrorist groups.
Treasury said in a statement that the individuals and entities supported Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps and its Quds Force, as well as transferred lethal aid to Iran-backed militias in Iraq, including Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq.
Treasury said the people and entities were involved in smuggling weapons to Iraq and Yemen and selling US-blacklisted Iranian oil to the Syrian regime, among other activities.
The sanctions freeze any US-held assets of those designated and generally bar Americans from doing business with them.
"Iran employs a web of front companies to fund terrorist groups across the region, siphoning resources away from the Iranian people and prioritizing terrorist proxies over the basic needs of its people,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the boycott of US sanctions, though it was unclear if he was responding to the latest actions. "Does the US want a 'forever pandemic'? Moral imperative to stop observing the bully's sanctions," he tweeted.
The new US sanctions came as Tehran battles the coronavirus outbreak.
Humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington reimposed on Tehran after President Donald Trump abandoned Iran's 2015 multilateral deal to limit its nuclear program.
However, broader US sanctions deter many firms from humanitarian trade with Iran.