The US is currently working to expand the scope of Iran metals sanctions which relate to the country’s nuclear, military and ballistic missile programs, says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In a statement on Thursday, Pompeo called the new move as a “major expansion” of such sanctions which target 22 specific materials that he said included aluminum powder with purity above 98%.
The sanctions administered by the State Department would allow Washington to blacklist those who he claimed knowingly transfer the materials to Iran.
“Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and military programs pose a grave threat to international peace and security,” Pompeo claimed in the statement.
The United States returned its sanctions against Iran after illegally and unilaterally leaving a historic nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic and major world powers that has been endorsed by the United Nation Security Council as a resolution.
Washington has previously targeted Iran’s metals sector with sanctions in an effort to slash the Islamic Republic’s revenues.
In June, the US issued sanctions against four steel, aluminum, and iron companies operating in the Islamic Republic, and also taken aim at the sales of Iran’s largest steel manufacturer.
The US Treasury Department said in a statement then that it had imposed sanctions on Tara Steel Trading GmbH, an offshore subsidiary of Mobarakeh Steel Co., three overseas’ sales agents serving the steel company, and Iran-based Metil Steel.
The Treasury said the sales agents “generated tens of millions of dollars annually from the foreign sale of Mobarakeh Steel Company products, providing significant contributions to the billions of dollars generated overall by Iran’s steel, aluminum, copper, and iron sectors.”
The new move by the State Department comes a day after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired ballistic missiles from underground launch facilities on the second day of its major naval and aerial drills in southern Iran.
Source: Iranian Agencies