The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for doing business with the Shipping Lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran and on three Iranian organizations for the proliferation of conventional weapons.
This is the latest in a series of measures aimed at increasing pressure on Tehran during the last days of President Donald Trump's administration.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington has imposed sanctions on seven companies, including China's Jiangyin Mascot Special Steel Co and Accenture Building Materials from the UAE, as well as two people for shipping steel to or from Iran.
He said that the Iranian Maritime Industry Organization, the Aerospace Industry Organization and the Iranian Aircraft Industry Organization were also blacklisted due to the proliferation of conventional weapons.
In a statement later Friday, Pompeo said he is also increasing the amount of sanctions against Iran's steel companies.
Those who knowingly hand over 15 materials that the State Department says are being used in connection with Iran's nuclear, military or ballistic missile program, including certain types of aluminum and steel, will be subject to sanctions, he said.
During his four years in office, Trump tried to get Tehran to return to negotiations on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, as well as its activities in the Middle East. Claiming that the deal hadn't gone far enough, Trump in 2018 backed out of the Iran nuclear deal that Tehran struck with world powers in 2015 to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions.
Democrat President-elect Joe Biden, who will succeed Trump on Wednesday, said he would return to the 2015 nuclear pact if Iran resumes strict adherence to it.