BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:45 P.M.) – The U.S. has imposed new sanctions against Iran, despite a previous offer to help the Islamic Republic during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement on Tuesday, vowing to continue Washington’s campaign of maximum pressure against the Iranian government.
Pompeo announced that the Trump administration would be blacklisting nine entities based in South Africa, Hong Kong, and China, as well as three Iranian individuals over “significant transactions” to trade Iranian petrochemicals.
While he did not name them, Pompeo said the step included blacklisting Iran’s armed forces social security investment company and its director for investing in sanctioned entities.
Separately, the Commerce Department said it will add six people – including five Iranian nuclear scientists – and 18 corporations to the U.S. “Entity List” for aiding Iran’s nuclear program, Pakistan’s unsafeguarded nuclear and missile programs, and Russian military modernization efforts.
Without naming them, the Commerce Department said the move covers one company in Iran, two entities in China, nine in Pakistan, and five in the United Arab Emirates and will constrict the export of certain items to them.
The Entity List names foreign parties that are barred from receiving some or all items subject to U.S. export regulations unless the exporter secures a license, according to the department.
Pompeo urged Iran to free U.S. citizens it has detained as a humanitarian gesture because of coronavirus. Iran has reported 16,169 coronavirus cases and 988 deaths in one of the worst national outbreaks outside of China, where the pandemic originated.