Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards
Members of Iran's Revolutionary GuardsReuters

The United States Treasury on Thursday imposed sanctions against six individuals and three companies it said had funneled millions of dollars to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, Reuters reported.

The Treasury Department said it was acting with the United Arab Emirates to disrupt the network and accused Iran’s central bank of actively helping the group to access U.S. dollars held in foreign bank.

“The Iranian regime and its Central Bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire U.S. dollars to fund the IRGC-QF’s malign activities, including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups, by concealing the purpose for which the U.S. dollars were acquired,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The six individuals and three entities were sanctioned under U.S. regulations targeting specially designated global terrorist suspects and Iranian financial activity, the Treasury said.

The move comes two days after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushes allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to pressure Iran to return to negotiations over its nuclear and missile programs.

On Wednesday, a day after Trump’s announcement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said sanctions on Iran could be imposed as early as next week to ensure the Islamic Republic does not develop nuclear weapons.

Trump’s decision has given grace periods of 90 days to six months for companies to wind down their trade with Iran.

In March, the United States imposed sanctions on 10 Iranians and an Iranian company for alleged hacking of hundreds of universities in the U.S. and abroad and the theft of "valuable intellectual property and data".

Last September, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions targeting 11 companies and individuals accused of aiding Iran's Revolutionary Guards or cyber attacks on U.S. banks.

A month earlier, Trump signed into law a bill which imposes sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards. Iran had blasted the United States over the bill, threatening U.S. military bases in the region.

The Islamic Republic has promised a “crushing” response if the United States designates the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.