USA expands scope of Iran metals sanctions

Cheryl Sanders
August 1, 2020

The United States has expanded sanctions against Iran's metals industry, adding 22 materials to the USA sanctions regime, a move that allows Washington to blacklist any company or entity that transfers the materials to Iran.

The Aerospace Division of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) that launched and controls the satellite, provided an image of the al-Udeid Airbase in Qatar that the space bird had taken using the "mosaic imaging" method, Fars News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Pompeo called the move a "major expansion" of Iran metals-related sanctions administered by the State Department, allowing Washington to blacklist those who knowingly transfer 22 specific materials to Iran that are allegedly used in connection with military programmes.

Washington says it wants Tehran to negotiate a wider deal to further curb Iran's nuclear work, halt its missile program and limit the Islamic Republic's regional influence.

Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo made the announcement on Thursday.

On the newly released list is refined aluminum powder, a key ingredient in solid rocket fuel. The Trump administration has targeted alleged IRGC funding streams throughout Iran's private sector as part of the Trump administration's so-called maximum pressure campaign against Tehran, launched after the U.S. pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement in 2018.

Russian Federation and China, two of the Permanent Five nations that enjoy veto power on the Security Council, want the UN embargo on selling conventional weapons to Iran to end on October 18 as laid out under a 2015 resolution.

Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States would introduce a resolution to extend the embargo "in the near future" which "we hope will be met with approval from other members of the P5".

The US military said the drill caused two bases with US troops in the region to go on heightened alert and said Tehran's missile launches were irresponsible.

Tensions between the USA and Iran worsened after President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal in May, 2018.

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