The US has announced economic sanctions against Chinese and Russian companies for participating in the development of the Iranian nuclear program. “We will continue to work to hinder Iran’s efforts to develop missiles and to make use of our sanction options,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday.
The sanctions imposed on Wednesday are therefore directed against the two China-based companies »Chengdu Best New Materials« and Zibo Elim Trade as well as against the company »Nilco Group« and »Joint Stock Company Elecon« in Russia.
»Sensitive Technologies« for the Iranian nuclear program
The four companies are accused of having provided “sensitive technologies” for the Iranian nuclear program. In return, according to Pompeo, they will be subject to restrictions on US government aid and their exports for two years.
A high-ranking Iranian nuclear scientist was killed near the Iranian capital Tehran on Friday. Iran made Israel jointly responsible for the attack and threatens “terrible vengeance”.
The international agreement concluded in 2015 on the Iranian nuclear program was actually intended to ensure that Iran does not acquire the capabilities to build an atomic bomb. However, under US President Trump, the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018. Since then, Washington has imposed numerous new sanctions on Tehran, and Iran gradually withdrew from the treaty.
Both countries have been on the brink of war twice since June 2019. Under the newly elected President Joe Biden, Iran is hoping for rapprochement again.