State Dept targets Russian, Chinese, NKorean firms, individuals with sanctions

In a broad stroke on Friday and Saturday, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on 38 foreign companies and individuals allegedly in violation of agreements intended to curb weapons proliferation.

The sanctions levied Friday are aimed at firms located in China, North Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Eleven of the sanctioned firms or individuals were selected for alleged dealings which aided Iran and 11 also engaged in acts that “serves to escalate regional conflicts further and poses a significant threat to regional security.”

“These determinations underscore that the United States continues to regularly impose sanctions under existing authorities, as warranted, against entities and individuals that engage in proliferation activity with Iran, North Korea, and Syria,” read a State Department statement.

Similarly, on Saturday, the State Department quietly announced it had placed embargoes on eight Russian manufacturing companies and individuals for violating the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act, in addition to 19 in violation from the three countries announced Friday.

According to a State Department spokesperson, the sanctions are “the result of regular ongoing evaluation activities, as required by this legislation.”

The State Department clarified the fresh sanctions are unrelated to sanctions imposed previously against Russia over its annexation of Crimea.

The sanctions largely target civil and military aircraft manufacturing firms, but State did not specify any violation.

Dismayed over the sanctions, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed “bewilderment and disappointment” for the recent ban.

Under the new sanctions, no U.S. government entity can engage in business activity with the sanctioned firms; the firms are not eligible for American foreign aid; and license renewals will not be considered.


[AP] [] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Press TV]