US sanctions Chinese companies including Chengdu Best New Materials for Iran weapons violations

World | 26 Nov 2020 10:08 am

The U.S. sanctioned five companies in China and Russia over claims they are promoting Iran’s missile program, and a Trump administration official said more penalties are to come, Bloomberg reports.

Chengdu Best New Materials Co and Zibo Elim Trade Company were sanctioned.

The Treasury Department plans to announce additional sanctions on Iran in coming weeks related to arms, weapons of mass destruction and human rights violations, Elliott Abrams, the State Department’s special representative for Iran, said Wednesday at a Beirut Institute event.

“Our policy will be the same through January 20,” Abrams said.

The newly sanctioned comapnies are China-based Chengdu Best New Materials and Zibo Elim Trade Company as well as Russia-based Nilco Group, Elecon and Aviazapchast, according to a State Department filing in the Federal Register.

The U.S. has ratcheted up its pressure on Iran since President Donald Trump quit the 2015 multinational deal that offered sanctions relief in return for caps on the Iranian nuclear program.

The nation’s oil exports were slashed while its banking system and military have also been sanctioned. Earlier this month, United Nations inspectors confirmed Iran added to its stockpile of enriched nuclear material, a breach of the 2015 deal prompted by the U.S. exit.

The Iranian government denies it ever pursued nuclear weapons research.

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