Following the Iranian government’s refusal to end support for Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups across the Middle East, the United States has imposed new sanctions on Tehran which target the Islamic Republic’s weapons programme due to Washington’s growing concern that both Iran’s military and intelligence apparatus is still intent on developing nuclear-grade weapons material.
“Individuals working for Iran’s proliferation-related programs — including scientists, procurement agents, and technical experts — should be aware of the reputational and financial risk they expose themselves by working for Iran’s nuclear programme,” the State Department said in a statement.
The US Treasury Department sanctioned 31 Iranian scientists, technicians, and companies affiliated with the country’s Organization for Defense Innovation and Research (SPND) – an institution that US officials believe spearheaded the development of the country’s now-frozen nuclear weapons programme.
A UN atomic watchdog has verified that Tehran is not currently working on a nuclear programme, Washington has become increasingly concerned about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ clandestine activities in the Middle East, South America, and Europe.
As with the first wave of American sanctions, a secondary wave that targets people of any nationality who do business with them. US secondary sanctions apply to foreign businesses and individuals and can include fines, asset freezes, travel bans, and other forms of exclusion from the US economy.