The US Treasury on Thursday added 20 companies and individuals to its Iran sanctions blacklist, accusing them of supporting Tehran's nuclear efforts and helping the country avoid international sanctions.
The 20 include Iran-based transport and freight companies Aban Air, DFS Worldwide and Everex, as well as officials of the three, which the Treasury said work to get around bans on doing business with already-blacklisted Iran Air.
Malaysia-based Petro Green and a top company official, Hossein Vaziri, were placed on the US blacklist for their work with firms linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the Naftiran Intertrade Company, both primary targets of US sanctions.
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Two companies and one person were hit with sanctions for their work in Iran's nuclear program, which the US believes is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, an allegation Iran denies.
In addition, the Iranian deputy defense minister and dean of Malek Ashtar University, Reza Mozaffarinia, was named for his work on Iran's missile program.
The sanctions blacklist bans US entities and individuals from any financial or commercial relations with those named.
"These networks are responsible for moving supplies and providing essential services to Iran's clandestine nuclear and weapons programs," the Treasury said in a statement.
"These actions are designed to increase pressure on the Iranian regime by tightening sanctions against Iran's energy sector and exposing key proliferation-related networks that span the globe from Europe to Asia."