Outgoing US administration imposes fresh sanctions on Iran

The outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump has imposed more sanctions on companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and on three Iranian entities over conventional arms proliferation.The US State Department announced on Friday that Washington had sanctioned seven companies, including Chinese-based Jiangyin Mascot Special Steel Co., LTD and UAE-based Accenture Building Materials, and two people for shipping steel to or from Iran.It added that the department also imposed sanctions on Mohammad Reza Modarres Khiabani, the Chief Executive Officer of IRISL.It designated Iran Transfo Company and Zangan Distribution Transformer Company for allegedly transferred (imported), directly or indirectly, to Iran grain-oriented electrical steel to at least one Iranian person on the SDN List, namely Hoopad Darya Shipping Agency Company.It imposed sanctions on Mobarakeh Steel Company and its Chief Executive Officer Hamidreza Azimian.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Iran’s Marine Industries Organization, Aerospace Industries Organization and the Iran Aviation Industries Organization had also been blacklisted over conventional arms proliferation.The statement claimed that these entities have manufactured military equipment for Iran’s military “to perpetrate its global terror campaign.”Iran has denounced the US for adopting a double-standard policy toward the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), reminding Washington of its support for slain Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his war on Iran in the 1980s.Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa (religious decree), which bans the development and production of weapons of mass destruction, including nukes, as contrary to Islam. Tensions have risen between Iran and the US after Trump unilaterally left a 2015 historic nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, describing the deal, which was struck by his predecessor Barack Obama, as the worst ever negotiated.The US administration also reinstated the sanctions that had been lifted against Iran under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).The fresh sanctions come in the final days of Republican Trump’s term. He is due to hand over power to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.Biden, who is set to take office on January 20, has denounced Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.He has also expressed willingness to return the United States to the nuclear deal.

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