US imposes fresh sanctions on Iran
The United States has imposed more sanctions on Iran, hitting the country's biggest airline and shipping group.
Iran Press/America: Washington will sanction the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and its China-based subsidiary, E-Sail Shipping, as well as Mahan Air, according to US officials involved in the decision to sanction the Iranian companies.
The sanctions on the entities, which are already subject to other US punitive actions, are being imposed under an executive order aimed at stopping the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the Financial Times reported.
US officials hope the measures will increase pressure on other countries to sever dealings with Iran.
Earlier, the US representative for Iran Brian Hook referring to the recent prisoner swap on Tuesday 10th December has called for a consular talk with Iran.
Referring to the role of Swiss intermediary in Iran-US prisoner swap, Hook said: I met Xiyue Wang in Zurich in the context of the prisoner exchange. And so I had brought over on my plane the Iranian. And then we were - the Swiss, who've been great partners."
Hook also said: "The US doesn't have diplomatic ties with Iran, and it's been that way for 40 years now, and so the Swiss are known as the US protecting power. And the Swiss ambassador to Iran had been seeing Xiyue Wang on a regular basis. And so over the last few weeks, I'd been working with him to make the deal that would then bring back Xiyue Wang."
The US representative for Iran Brian Hook while calling for a consular dialogue with Iran reiterated Washington's stance regarding the release of US citizen Xiyue Wang from Iran and the riots in the country following the rise in gasoline prices.
Earlier, the US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook admitted that Washington had a role in recent riots in Iran over the petrol price increase by providing support for the rioters.