US takes action against Iranian, Chinese firms and individuals over missile programme
A Chinese national and three companies among those sanctioned for providing equipment to Iranian military technology firm
The United States has sanctioned two Iranian defence officials, an Iranian company, a Chinese individual and a group of Chinese firms because of their support for Iran’s ballistic missile programme, according to a US Treasury Department statement on Wednesday.
Ruan Runling, a Chinese national, and three Chinese companies were sanctioned for their proliferation activities in support of a key designated Iranian defence entity, the Treasury statement said. It said Ruan had supplied missile-related technology and goods to an Iranian military technology company.
The Iranian defence officials were Morteza Farasatpour and Rahim Ahmadi. The Treasury said Farasatpour coordinated the sale and delivery of explosives and other materiel for Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC).
Ahmadi is the director of Iran’s Shahid Bakeri Industries Group. He was sanctioned for his involvement in Iran’s solid-fuel ballistic missile programme.
The sanctions block any assets the individuals or companies may have in the US and bars Americans and non-Americans from doing business with them.
“This administration is committed to countering Iran’s destabilising behaviour, such as Iran’s development of ballistic missiles,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
The latest action against individuals and companies came on the same day as the Trump administration said it would continue to waive some sanctions against Iran, a key aspect of a deal over the country’s nuclear programme negotiated by the Obama administration and five other world powers.
The White House is currently reviewing U.S. policy toward Iran.
“This ongoing review does not diminish the United States’ resolve to continue countering Iran’s destabilising activity in the region, whether it be supporting the Assad regime [in Syria], backing terrorist organisations like Hezbollah, or supporting violent militias that undermine governments in Iraq and Yemen,” the acting assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, Stuart Jones, said in a separate statement.
“And above all, the United States will never allow the regime in Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
Additional reporting by Reuters