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Iran Press TV

US imposes sanctions on business networks over Iran

Iran Press TV

Wed Aug 28, 2019 04:05PM

The United States has expanded its anti-Iran sanctions by targeting several companies and individuals over alleged links to the Iranian government and military organizations.

The US Treasury Department blacklisted two networks on Wednesday, accusing them of having ties with the Iranian government and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

In a statement, the Treasury Department accused one network of using a Hong Kong-based front company for evading US sanctions and targeting American technology and components for Iran.

The other network obtained Nuclear Suppliers Group–controlled aluminum alloy products for companies owned or controlled by Iran's defense ministry, the department said.

In May last year, President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and five other countries and has re-imposed sanctions on the country, including penalties on Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The move has drawn a firestorm of rebukes for Trump and his administration.

Last month, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on seven companies along with three individuals it claims helped procure materials for Iran's nuclear program.

"Treasury is taking action to shut down an Iranian nuclear procurement network that leverages Chinese- and Belgium-based front companies to acquire critical nuclear," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

In June, Trump announced sanctions against Iran, targeting the Leadership of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top IRGC commanders.

Iran responded denouncing the US sanctions against Iran as a sign of weakness.

In May, Iran informed the five remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal - the UK, Germany, Russia, China and France - of its decision to suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the agreement, exactly one year after the United States unilaterally abandoned it.

Iran warned that in 60 days it would resume refining uranium to a higher fissile degree if Europe failed to shield its trade from US sanctions.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Trump administration should lift all its "cruel" and "unlawful" sanctions against Iran and begin respecting the nation's rights as a "first step" towards dialogue, emphasizing that the Islamic Republic will not engage in any negotiations for the mere sake of photo opportunities.

The Iranian president made the remarks after French President Emmanuel Macron expressed hopes for a meeting between Rouhani and Trump, "in the next few weeks."

Rouhani said Iran sits at the negotiating table with others only in order to secure its people's rights and interest. Tehran will make a change in its approach towards "those waging economic terrorism" against the county only if they "repent" of their past mistakes and turn back from the wrong path they have taken, he added.

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