(June 25, 2020 / JNS) The United States has sanctioned eight Iranian steel, aluminum and iron companies on, including subsidiaries of the Islamic Republic’s largest steel manufacturer, announced the U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday.
Five of the entities—Tara Steel Trading GmbH, Pacific Steel FZE, Better Future General Trading Co LLC, Tuka Metal Trading DMCC and Metil Steel—are linked to Mobarakeh Steel Company, which is already under U.S. sanctions and is the largest flat steel producer in the Middle East and North Africa region, accounting for approximately 1 percent of Iran’s gross domestic product, according to the Treasury Department.
Mobarakeh Steel Company has allegedly provided millions of dollars annually to Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company, an entity with close ties to Iran’s paramilitary Basij force, which is controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and its Bonyad Taavon Basij, according to the Treasury Department.
Collectively, these subsidiaries generate tens of millions of dollars annually from the sale of Mobarakeh Steel Company products, according to the Treasury Department.
Additionally, three other Iranian metal producers were sanctioned: South Aluminum Company, Sirjan Jahan Steel Complex and Iran Central Iron Ore Company.
South Aluminum Company is an aluminum producer that in April 2020 completed construction of an advanced smelter able to produce 300,000 tons of aluminum products annually, significantly improving Iran’s aluminum ingot production, according to the Treasury Department.
In Iran, aluminum is considered a dual-use industry with portions of refined products used in the defense sector with the remaining available products used in various industries throughout the country, according to Treasury.
Sirjan Jahan Steel Complex is a steel and iron producer that maintains four different manufacturing facilities that have an annual production capacity of more than 6 million tons of steel and iron products, according to the Treasury Department.
Iran Central Iron Ore Company is an iron producer that exports various iron products regionally and to East Asia. Iran Central Iron Ore Company has previously exported approximately 1.5 million tons of iron products around the world with an estimated value of $133 million, according to Treasury.
“The Iranian regime continues to use profits from metals manufacturers and foreign sales agents to fund destabilizing behavior around the world,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “The United States remains committed to isolating key sectors of the Iranian economy until the revenues from such sectors are refocused toward the welfare of the Iranian people.”
The development exemplified the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign since withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions under it, along with enacting new penalties against the regime.
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