US increases pressure on Iran, imposes sanctions on 4 individuals and 6 companies

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The United States on Tuesday imposed Iran-related sanctions on six companies and four people, accusing the network of supplying sensitive goods to an Iranian military firm in the Trump administration's latest move to increase pressure on Tehran.

The US Treasury Department in a statement accused the companies and individuals of facilitating the procurement of sensitive goods, including US-origin electronic components, for Iran Communication Industries, an Iranian military firm blacklisted by Washington and the European Union.

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The firm produces military communication systems, avionics and missile launchers, among other items, the Treasury said.

Tuesday's action, taken under an authority that imposes sanctions on weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters, freezes any US assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

"The Iranian regime utilizes a global network of companies to advance its destabilizing military capabilities," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

"The United States will continue to take action against those who help to support the regime’s militarization and proliferation efforts," he added.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018 from the Iran nuclear deal struck by President Barack Obama and began reimposing US sanctions that had been eased under the accord.

The move blacklisted Iran-based Hoda Trading; Hong Kong-based Proma Industry Co., Ltd.; DES International Co., Ltd.; Brunei-based Soltech Industry Co., Ltd.; China-based Naz Technology Co., Ltd.; and Iran-based Artin San’at Tabaan Company, as well as several individuals.

The Treasury said the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia was also filing charges by criminal complaint against two companies and one individual that were hit with sanctions in Tuesday's move.

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