12/11/2019 12:43:00 PM US hits Iran with new sanctions, hopes for prisoner
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration today hit Iran with new sanctions that target several transportation firms as it continues its “maximum pressure campaign“ against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The sanctions target Iran’s state shipping line and a China-based company that has been involved in delivering missile parts to Iran. They also add a layer of new penalties to a previously sanctioned Iranian airline, Mahan Air, which is accused of sending weapons to Iranian proxies in Lebanon and Yemen, and three of its sales agents.
The moves were announced by the Treasury and the State Department and will subject foreign firms and governments that do business with the targeted entities to sanctions themselves, including a freeze on any assets they may have in U.S. jurisdictions.
“Today’s designations put the world on notice that those who engage in illicit transactions with these companies will risk exposure and sanctions themselves,“ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
U.S. authorities say Iran is holding one American national and five dual U.S.-Iranian nationals. They include Navy veteran Michael White, who is serving a 10-year espionage sentence, as well as environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian with U.S. and British citizenship also initially sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Iranian-American father and son Siamak and Baquer Namazi. Former FBI agent Robert Levinson has been missing for 13 years since disappearing in Iran.