The United States has imposed sanctions on over a dozen people and entities in Iran, China and Hong Kong for running a procurement network for Iran's missile and military programs.
A Treasury Department statement said the network conducted transactions and enabled the procurement of sensitive and critical parts and technology for key actors in Iran’s ballistic missile development, including Iran's defense ministry and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) agency, which is under US sanctions.
Among those hit with sanctions in the action, which comes as Washington ramps up pressure on Tehran, was Iran's defense attaché in Beijing, Davoud Damghani, whom the Treasury accused of coordinating military-related procurements from China for Iranian end-users, including MODAFL subsidiaries.
“The United States will continue to target illicit transnational procurement networks that covertly support Iran’s ballistic missile production and other military programs," Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement.
China and Iran in March 2021 signed a 25-year cooperation agreement to strengthen their long-standing economic and political alliance. China has been a major buyer of Iranian oil despite US sanctions designed to choke off these exports.
Washington targeted centrifuge sales to Parchin Chemical Industries (PCI), dual-use metals sales to its intermediary, P.B. Sadr, and MODAFL's electronics procurement in Tuesday's action. Both PCI and P.B. Sadr were previously hit with US sanctions.
Among those targeted were China-based Zhejiang Qingji Ind. Co., Ltd, which the Treasury accused of selling centrifuges and other equipment and services.
Its director and an employee were also targeted, as well as Hong Kong-based Lingoe Process Engineering Limited, which the Treasury said served as a front company in the network.
Also, among those hit with sanctions were two companies based in Hong Kong and China, which the Treasury accused of selling tens of millions of dollars’ worth of dual-use, nonferrous metals to P.B. Sadr.