US imposes sanctions on companies and people over Iran weapons link

Action against four people and six companies under an executive order aimed at blocking arms proliferation

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a briefing to the media at the State Department in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2020. Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via REUTERS     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

An international network of six companies and four people have been hit with US sanctions after being accused of helping to procure sensitive goods for Iran.

The sensitive material included some electronic parts of US origin for a company called Iran Communications Industries (ICI) and related to possible weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or delivery systems, the US said.

The Treasury Department confirmed ICI was an Iranian military company and a subsidiary of Iran Electronics Industries hit with sanctions and it was under Iran's Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics.

The people and companies had sanctions imposed under an executive order aimed at stopping WMD proliferation.

Sanctions include a freeze on US assets, being denied access to the US financial system and being listed on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s specially designated nationals list.

“This action is another warning that those who do business with Iran’s military and proliferation-sensitive industries are running the risk of being sanctioned,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

“The United States will continue to use all tools at our deposal to prevent the Iranian regime from threatening regional and global stability and security.”

Before the US election, the Trump administration was planning more sanctions on Iran in its final weeks in office, to restrict what Joe Biden could do if he won office.

The sanctions included a package aimed at what the US considered to be illicit activities outside the nuclear programme.

"Those who believe that a President Biden could come to office in January and by the second or third day all sanctions will be gone, will find out that it's not feasible even if they wanted to do it," Elliott Abrams, the US special representative for Iran and Venezuela, told The National.

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