US Treasury announces new sanctions on Iran’s steel industry

The U.S. announced a fresh wave of sanctions against Iran on Tuesday — this time aimed at 17 companies that supply the regime with materials for the steel industry.

The move is meant to cripple Iran’s metals sector — an important revenue source for the regime — and stymie their continued funding of terrorist groups in the region.

“The Trump Administration remains committed to denying revenue flowing to the Iranian regime as it continues to sponsor terrorist groups, support oppressive regimes, and seek weapons of mass destruction,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The sanctions include a China-based supplier of graphite electrodes — a key element in steel production, as well as 12 Iranian producers of steel and other metals products, and three foreign-based sales agents of a major Iranian metals and mining holding company, which are located in the U.K. and Germany.

In addition, the State Department also sanctioned one individual, Majid Sajdeh, a principal executive officer for a subsidiary of an Iranian shipping company.

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have heightened throughout President Trump’s term, including after Trump unilaterally withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.

In yet another act of defiance by Tehran on Monday, the nation began enriching uranium up to 20% at an underground facility and seized a South Korean-flagged oil tanker in the crucial Strait of Hormuz, further escalating tensions in the Middle East between Tehran and the West.