The restrictions target Iran-based agents and companies that the Biden administration says obtained supplies for the program from Iran.
The United States has imposed sanctions on a number of entities it says are involved in obtaining supplies for Iran’s ballistic missile program.
in a statement On Wednesday, the US Treasury Department said the sanctions target an Iran-based procurement broker, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, and his network of companies it accused of procuring “materials related to ballistic missile propellants.” ”.
The department said the materials were purchased for an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRCG) unit responsible for ballistic missile research and development, as well as for Parchin Chemical Industries, which is part of the Defense Industries Organisation. Iran.
“This action reinforces the United States’ commitment to preventing the development and use of advanced ballistic missiles by the Iranian regime,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E Nelson.
The move comes as the United States and Iran are in talks to return to the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in which Tehran reduced its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018, instead pursuing a “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran, which in turn escalated its nuclear program beyond the limits set by the pact. .
The Biden administration has said it is favoring the path of diplomacy with the Iranian government and wants all parties to return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA.
“As the United States continues to seek Iran’s return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will not hesitate to target those who support Iran’s ballistic missile program,” Nelson said.
Companies sanctioned in Wednesday’s action include Iran-based Jestar Sanat Delijan and Sina Composite Delijan Co, as well as PB Sadr Co.
The restrictions freeze any US assets of the targeted individuals and generally prevent Americans from dealing with them. Those who engage in certain transactions with them are also at risk of being penalized, the Treasury said.
The department also said the restrictions come after recent attacks in the Middle East claimed by Iranian and Iran-linked groups, including IRGC ballistic missile attacks in Erbil, northern Iraq, in mid-March, and rocket and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia carried out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels last week.
Meanwhile, indirect negotiations between the US and Iran, which have been taking place in Vienna for almost a year, have overcome repeated disagreements, but unfinished business remains.
Speaking at the Doha Form last weekend, US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said the nuclear deal is not intended to address Iran’s regional policies or IRGC behavior.
But he declined to address details of the negotiations or whether the United States is considering delisting the Iranian force.
“Many in the region see the IRGC the same way we see it and we have just witnessed the latest attack in Erbil. But we know this is not an agreement that will address that,” Malley said.
“So put it aside, regardless of the outcome on the matter of [de-listing] the IRGC, which I will not refer to, I can tell you that the IRGC will continue to be sanctioned by US law. And our perception, our views, our policy towards the IRGC will not have changed.”