US imposes sanctions on 30 firms, individuals

WASHINGTON • The United States has imposed sanctions on 30 foreign companies or individuals for transferring sensitive technology to Iran for its missile programme or for violating export controls on Iran, North Korea and Syria.

Eleven companies or individuals from China, North Korea or the United Arab Emirates were sanctioned for technology transfers that could boost Teheran’s ballistic missile programme, the US State Department said in a statement yesterday.

"We have seen indications Iran is providing missile support to the Houthis in Yemen,” said the State Department, referring to an Iran- allied rebel group.

“This destabilising activity only serves to escalate regional conflicts further and poses a significant threat to regional security.”

Nineteen entities or individuals were sanctioned for other violations under the Iran, North Korea and Syria Non-Proliferation Act, it said. They are believed to have transferred or acquired sensitive technology that could contribute to the development of weapons of mass destruction.

The sanctions came into effect on Tuesday.

Chinese telecom giant ZTE, which is not on the latest US blacklist, pleaded guilty this week in a US court to violating US export controls by selling goods to Iran and North Korea over several years.

The move is the final step in the case’s resolution, announced by the US government on March 7. It slapped US$1.2 billion (S$1.4 billion) in fines on the company, the largest criminal penalty in US history in an export control case.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2017, with the headline 'US imposes sanctions on 30 firms, individuals'. Print Edition | Subscribe