The United States is imposing new sanctions against 18 individuals and entities over their support for Iran's ballistic missile program and other military-related activities.
The sanctions come one day after Washington certified that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal and will continue to receive nuclear-related sanctions relief.
The U.S. Department of Treasury said in a statement on July 18 it was targeting 16 entities and individuals for ”engaging in support of illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.”
Those sanctioned have supported Iran's military or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by developing military equipment, producing and maintaining fast-attack boats, and procuring electronic components, the treasury said.
“This Administration will continue to aggressively target Iran's malign activity, including their ongoing state support of terrorism, ballistic missile program, and human rights abuses,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin was quoted as saying in the statement.
The State Department also said it is designating two Iranian organizations involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Iran was testing and developing ballistic missiles "in direct defiance" of a UN Security Council resolution.
The new sanctions were "in response to these continued Iranian threats," she said in a July 18 statement.
The State Department called on Iran to release U.S. citizens including Baquer Namazi, Siamak Namazi, and Xiyue Wang whose arrest and prison sentence on espionage charges was announced by a judiciary spokesman over the weekend.
With reporting by Reuters and dpa