Secretary of State expands scope of metals sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear, military, and ballistic missile programs.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday announced he is expanding the scope of the Iran metals sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear, military, and ballistic missile programs.
“Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and military programs pose a grave threat to international peace and security. To address these threats, I am announcing a major expansion of the scope of State Department-administered Iran metals-related sanctions. Today, the State Department is identifying 22 specific materials used in connection with Iran’s nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs. Those who knowingly transfer such materials to Iran are now sanctionable pursuant to Section 1245 of the Iranian Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“Under the same provision of law, I am continuing my determination that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) controls Iran’s construction sector. The IRGC’s construction firm and many of its subsidiaries remain sanctioned by the United Nations because they were directly involved in the construction of the uranium enrichment site at Fordow,” he continued.
“As a result of this IRGC determination, any knowing transfer of certain materials, including graphite or raw or semi-finished metals, to or from Iran to be used in connection with the construction sector of Iran remains sanctionable,” the statement concluded.
Since leaving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the US has continuously reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Iranian leaders have said that the US sanctions “severely hamper” the Islamic Republic’s ability to fight coronavirus.
The latest sanctions come amid continued tensions between the US and Iran. On Tuesday, the Revolutionary Guard launched missiles targeting a mock aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
The drill included such a barrage of fire that the US military temporarily put two regional bases in the Mideast on alert amid tensions between the two countries.
The drill — and the American response to it — underlined the lingering threat of military conflict between Iran and the US after a series of escalating incidents last year led to an American drone strike which killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.
Iran retaliated for the killing of Soleimani by launching a barrage of missiles on two Iraqi military bases hosting American troops. 34 service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury as a result of the attack.