Eight companies in Iran were designated as businesses working in the iron, steel and aluminum sectors affiliated with the Mobarakeh Steel Company — which had previously been placed under U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. also placed sanctions on a Chinese company based out of Hong Kong, known as the Global Industrial and Engineering Supply Ltd., for providing graphite — a vital material in Iran’s metal industry — to Tehran in 2019.
“As part of our maximum pressure campaign, the United States designated eight entities connected with Iran’s metal industry and designated an entity that transferred material to Iran that is critical to Tehran’s metal plants,” Pompeo said in a statement.
The Revolutionary Guard is a branch of the Iranian armed forces and was designated a terrorist organization by President Trump in April 2019.
Iran reportedly uses the funds it receives from the exports of its metal industry to provide funding for the Revolutionary Guard.
“Any person doing business with [Revolutionary Guard] or conducting prohibited transfers of graphite to Iran risks sanctions,” Pompeo said.
The companies have also been added to the list of “blocked persons,” preventing them from entering the U.S.
The U.S. has imposed strict sanctions on Iran since President Trump pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal in 2018, calling the Obama-era agreement “decaying and rotten.” Pompeo on Tuesday also urged the United Nations Security Council to indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Iran, which is set to expire in October. Iran faced additional criticism from the International Atomic.
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