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United States sanctions 13 entities over Iran's missile program

United States sanctions 13 entities over Iran's missile program
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds a news conference at the U.S. State Department on Tuesday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has imposed sanctions against 13 foreign entities and individuals in China, Iraq, Russia and Turkey for supporting Iran's missile program.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the sanctions in a statement Tuesday, stating a Chinese national, three Chinese companies and a Turkish company were among those being punished. He did not elaborate on the other sanctions but explained the Chinese individual, Luo Dingwen, has also been involved in supplying "sensitive items" to Pakistan's weapons program.

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Baoding Shimaotong Enterprises Services, Gaobeidian Kaituo Precise Instrument and Wuhan Sanjiang Import and Export were named as the Chinese companies and Eren Carbon Graphite Industrial Trading as the Turkish company sanctioned for supporting Iran's missile program.

"The imposition of these measures underscores that Iran's missile program remains a significant proliferation concern," Pompeo said. "The imposition of sanctions against these foreign entities is consistent with our efforts to use all available measures to prevent Iran from advancing its missile capabilities."

Pompeo said the sanctions were issued under the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act that affords the United States the ability to impose sanctions against those who aid the three countries in the proliferation of weapons.

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The two-year discretionary sanctions, he said, were determined following a periodic review of "sanctionable activity" and will restrict the 13 individuals and entities from U.S. government procurement, assistance and exports.

"We will continue to use all available measures to prevent Iran from advancing its missile capabilities," Pompeo said on Twitter.

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