The US State Department has imposed sanctions against 13 foreign entities and individuals in China, Iraq, Russia and Turkey over what it calls their support for Iran’s missile program.
In a statement released on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said new sanctions have been imposed against five entities and individuals in China —including Luo Dingwen, Baoding Shimaotong Enterprises Services Company Limited, Gaobeidian Kaituo Precise Instrument Co. Ltd , and Wuhan Sanjiang Import and Export Co., Ltd — and Turkey — namely Eren Carbon Graphite Industrial Trading Company, Ltd.
Pompeo further claimed that the fresh bans were issued under the 2000 Iran, North Korea, Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA), which prohibits the supplying of any military equipment, ballistic missiles, or components for producing them, to the three countries in question.
“The recent determinations were the result of a periodic review of sanctionable activity as required by INKSNA. We have imposed two-year discretionary sanctions on the 13 individuals/entities identified in this report. The sanctions include restrictions on US government procurement, US government assistance, and exports,” he said.
The top US diplomat also claimed that “Iran’s missile program remains a significant proliferation concern” and that the fresh sanctions are meant to “prevent Iran from advancing its missile capabilities.”
This is while the Islamic Republic has repeatedly stressed the peaceful nature of its missile program, saying that it is solely for defensive purposes.
In May 2018, the US scrapped the 2015 nuclear deal — officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — which had been endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
Since then, the administration of President Donald Trump has unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against Iran, notably targeting the country’s key oil exports.
In April 2019, the White house terminated sanctions waivers for major buyers of crude from the Islamic Republic in an attempt to bring Iran’s oil exports to “zero.”