The US government on Tuesday sanctioned 17 companies, including firms based in China, Germany and the United Kingdom, for being linked to Iran’s steel industry.
The sanctions, applied during President Trump’s final month in office, follow Iran’s Monday announcement that it will refine uranium close to the purity needed for nuclear bombs.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said, “The Trump Administration remains committed to denying revenue flowing to the Iranian regime as it continues to sponsor terrorist groups, support oppressive regimes, and seek weapons of mass destruction.”
Trump withdrew the US in 2018 from former President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and reimposed harsh economic sanctions, saying there were insufficient safeguards against Iranian nuclear weapons development. Some Democrats want President-elect Joe Biden to rejoin the deal and relax sanctions.
The new sanctions will make it difficult for the companies to operate by cutting them off from the US-led international banking system.
According to the Treasury Department, “The Iranian metals sector is