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US imposes sanctions for alleged links with Iran’s ballistic missile programme

June 7, 2023 at 3:47 pm

Members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps conduct a military drill with ballistic missiles and unmanned air vehicles at Great Salt Desert, in the middle of the Iranian Plateau, on January 15, 2021 in Iran. [Sepahnews/Handout – Anadolu Agency]

The US announced on Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on a number of people and companies in Iran, China and Hong Kong on charges of supporting Tehran’s ballistic missile programme.

According to the US Treasury, the Chinese companies have sent centrifuges, non-ferrous metals that can be used for military purposes, and electronic equipment to government branches and private companies in Iran involved in manufacturing missiles. Those sanctioned include the China-based company Zhejiang Qingji, which has allegedly sold centrifuges and other materials to an Iran-based firm affiliated with the Iranian defence ministry.

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Also designated for sanctions were several executives at Qingji and the Hong Kong-based Lingoe Process Engineering Limited, which the US Treasury said served as a front company for the Chinese companies.

Iran’s Defence Attaché in Beijing, Davoud Damghani, was sanctioned by name for allegedly coordinating purchases from China for Iran end-users.

Under the sanctions, American companies and individuals, as well as international companies with subsidiaries in the United States, are prohibited from dealing with those on the blacklist. The sanctions deny people and companies access to any property or financial assets in the US and prevent American companies and citizens from doing business with them.

The treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian E. Nelson, said that the US “will continue to target illicit transnational procurement networks that covertly support Iran’s ballistic missile production and other military programmes.”

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