US hits again Iranian scientists with new sanctions
US government hit Iran with new sanctions on Friday while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on a visit to Lebanon.
The Treasury Department claimed that these individuals and entities had been at the forefront of the country's former nuclear program.
Officials said those targeted continue to work in Iran's defense sector. Fourteen people, including the head of the organization, and 17 subsidiary operations are hit by the sanctions.
The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from any transactions with them.
U.S. secondary sanctions apply to foreign businesses and individuals and can include fines, loss of presence in the American economy, asset freezes and travel bans.
"Individuals working for Iran's proliferation-related programs — including scientists, procurement agents, and technical experts — should be aware of the reputational and financial risk they expose themselves to be working for Iran's nuclear program," the State Department said in a statement.
The move is unusual because the sanctions are not being imposed based on what those targeted are currently doing.
The announcement came as Mike Pompeo was in Beirut.104/213