US sanctions suppliers of Iranian missile programs

US Treasury sanctions two Iranian business groups over ties to Tehran's missile program.

Elad Benari ,

Missiles in Tehran
Missiles in Tehran

The US Treasury on Wednesday placed two Iranian business groups on its sanctions blacklist, saying both were important suppliers of Tehran's missile program and facilitators of its alleged proliferation activities, AFP reports.

The Treasury, working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said the "Dehghan Network" of Hamed Dehghan and Hadi Dehghan, had procured and supplied "military-grade electronic components" to an Iranian engineering company that works with the military and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Dehghans work through their company Ebtekar Sanat Ilya, and a Hong Kong front company Green Industries (Hong Kong) Limited, the Treasury said.

A second group, the "Shariat Network," controlled by Seyed Hossein Shariat and focused on his Asre Sanat Eshragh Company, was also blacklisted for supplying aluminum alloy products to Iranian entities already sanctioned for their missile proliferation and nuclear weapons programs.

The sanctions freeze any property those names have in US jurisdictions and aim to lock those blacklisted out of global commercial and financial networks by banning US individuals and companies, including international companies with US arms, from doing business with them.

The Treasury threatened sanctions against "any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services for any of the individuals designated today."

The US has imposed a series of sanctions on Iran, most recently last month when it sanctioned Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

In July, US President Donald Trump accused Iran of being in "total violation" of the 2015 nuclear agreement and warned that the US would soon substantially increase sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The warning followed Iran's announcement that it would expand its uranium enrichment beyond the 3.67% limit permitted in the deal.

Iran has been scaling back its commitments in the 2015 deal in response to Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of last year.