7th June 2023 – (Washington) The United States announced on Tuesday that it is imposing sanctions on a group of individuals and firms from Iran, China, and Hong Kong that are allegedly associated with the development of Iran’s ballistic missile program. According to the Treasury Department, this network of seven people and six firms “facilitated procurement of sensitive and critical parts and technology for key actors in Iran’s ballistic missile development,” including Iran’s defence ministry and affiliated firms.
The sanctions target several firms and executives, including the China-based firm Zhejiang Qingji, which has allegedly sold centrifuges and other materials to an Iran-based firm linked to the nation’s defence ministry. The Hong Kong-based Lingoe Process Engineering Limited, which Treasury claims served as a front company for the Chinese firm, is also designated for sanctions. Iran’s Defence Attaché in Beijing, Davoud Damghani, who allegedly coordinates purchases from China for Iran end-users, is also named.
The sanctions prohibit the people and firms from accessing any property or financial assets held in the U.S. and prevent U.S. companies and citizens from doing business with them. The latest round of financial penalties comes amid Iran’s recent claim that it has developed a hypersonic missile capable of traveling at 15 times the speed of sound, adding a new weapon to its arsenal. This development comes as tensions remain high between the U.S. and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.