US applies new sanctions on Iran


The US has clamped unilateral sanctions on five more Iranian entities over their alleged links to and support for Iran's nuclear program.


The US Treasury Department accused the Iranian entities of providing materials to Iran's nuclear program and banned the American companies from carrying business with those institutions.


The new sanctions would also freeze any assets that the Iranian companies might have in the United States.


The five entities have been identified as the Nuclear Research Center for Agriculture and Medicine at Karaj, the Isfahan Nuclear Fuel Research and Production Center, Safety Equipment Procurement Co. and Jaza Industrial Co. and Jabbar Ibn Hayyan.


The organizations are active in nuclear research, educational programs, laboratory services for nuclear fuel production and establishment of industrial units related to peaceful unclear energy.


"These five nuclear and missile entities have been used by Iran to hide its illicit conduct and further its dangerous nuclear ambitions," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.


The West has so far imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran, threatening the country with the fourth round should it refuse to halt its enrichment.


The European Union ratcheted up trade restrictions on Iran Friday, introducing restrictions on public loans and tougher cargo inspections.


Also in late June, the European Union agreed to ban Iran's largest bank (Bank Melli) from operating in Europe for allegedly 'providing services to the country's nuclear program'. The EU announced it would exercise vigilance in dealing with all Iranian banks, in particular Bank Saderat.


The United States and its European allies accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons program, but Iran rejects the allegations, saying all its enrichment activities are solely aimed at producing fuel for nuclear power production. The country is currently facing electricity shortage.