The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday imposed sanctions against four subsidiaries and the commander of the construction arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The action, which extends earlier sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards and its Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters, bans U.S. transactions with the newly designated firms and aims to freeze any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
The Treasury said Khatam al-Anbiya is involved in the construction of streets, highways, tunnels, pipelines and water projects and its profits help support Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Tehran said over the weekend that it would start enriching uranium to 20 percent purity, considered a key step toward producing nuclear weapons-grade material.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the international community was moving "fairly quickly" to impose broader sanctions on Iran aimed at curbing its nuclear program.
The subsidiaries added to the Treasury's so-called blacklist included Fater Engineering Institute, Imensazen Consultant Engineers Institute, Makin Institute and Rahab Institute. Khatam al-Anbiya's commander, Revolutionary Guards General Rostam Qasemi, also was blacklisted.
"As the IRGC consolidates control over broad swaths of the Iranian economy, displacing ordinary Iranian businessmen in favor of a select group of insiders, it is hiding behind companies like Khatam al-Anbiya and its affiliates to maintain vital ties to the outside world," Stuart Levey, Treasury's undersecretary said in a statement.
ReutersLast Mod: 11 Şubat 2010, 08:27