Yesterday, Friday, the United States announced new sanctions targeting Iran's ballistic missile and drone programs, and as Washington sought to increase pressure on Tehran, it said it was involved in hacking of American infrastructure.
The US Treasury Department said – in a statement – that it has imposed sanctions on 4 companies, one of which is based in Iran and the rest are based in Hong Kong, because they have provided materials and technical equipment to Iran's ballistic missile and drone programs.
The Treasury said it has imposed sanctions on six officials in Iran's Revolutionary Guard's cyber command for what it called malicious activities targeting critical infrastructure in the United States and elsewhere.
The new sanctions come in response to the killing of 3 US soldiers and the wounding of 40 others at a Jordanian base, which Washington accuses of carrying out what it calls Tehran's agents.
FY International Trading, Tooling Technology HK Limited and Advantage Trading Limited are three companies headquartered in Hong Kong.
A fourth company is located in Iran, “Narin Seber Mobin Estates”, which is affiliated with Peshdasan Kaush Koster Bushra Company.
In a separate statement, the US Treasury has imposed sanctions on six officials in the Central Election Commission of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The six are Hamid Reza Lashkarian, Mehdi Lashkarian, Hamid Homayunfal, Milat Mansoori, Muhammad Baqar Shirinkar and Reza Muhammad Amin Sabarian.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of Justice accused Iranian officials and Turkish employees of an energy group in Ankara of “laundering and selling Iranian oil to buyers linked to China, Russia and Syria to fund Iran's terror-supporting Quds Force.”
For its part, the federal prosecutor's office in Manhattan announced the “seizure of $108 million that Revolutionary Guard companies tried to launder.”
He said in a statement, “Iran uses black market oil sales channels to finance its criminal activities, such as support for the Revolutionary Guards, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups associated with them.”
The imposition of new sanctions coincided with the start of US airstrikes in Syria and Iraq targeting factions close to Iran.
In a statement issued by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, our forces conducted strikes on seven facilities operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and allied militias, acting on orders from President Joe Biden.