The US imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, including an airline and the country’s shipping industry, according to reports.
On Wednesday, while announcing the sanctions Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that Iran “uses its aviation and shipping industries to supply regional terrorist and militant groups with weapons, directly contributing to the devastating humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen”.
“Aviation and shipping industries should be vigilant and not allow their industries to be exploited by a terrorist,” Mnuchin added.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the media in Washington that three general sales agents of Mahan Air were part of the new anti-Iran sanctions, reports Press TV.
The recent development came after US sanctions announcement on December 6 that targeted Iraqi leaders of three Iran-backed militias for killing innocent civilians who were protesting economic conditions and foreign interference in their country.
Earlier in the month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had said that his country is still ready for nuclear talks on condition of the US first lifts “unlawful” sanctions.
In September, the US had imposed its first-ever sanctions against Iran’s space agency and accused it of disguising a missile program.
The US also warned the “international scientific community that collaborating with Iran on space launch vehicles could contribute to its ballistic missile program.”
In response to the US, Iran said that its space program is aimed at building rockets to launch telecommunications satellites. Iran has fired two such satellites into orbit since 2013. But three other attempts this year have failed, including one rocket that blew up on the launch pad last week.
In the recent attack, in November the US accused Iran of “nuclear extortion” and vowed no let-up in pressure after the clerical regime and said it would resume uranium enrichment at the key Fordow plant.
Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal and began reimposing crippling sanctions.
Iran has hit back with countermeasures in response to the US withdrawal from the deal, which gave it the promise of relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
(With inputs from agency)