The US has announced a new round of sanctions against Iran, targeting the country’s largest shipping company, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), and airline Mahan Air.
The US accused the companies of smuggling lethal aid and weapons of mass destruction on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The sanctions also targeted E-Sail Shipping, a China-based subsidiary of IRISL and three agents of Mahan Air.
The sanctions on IRISL and E-Sail will take effect in 180 days in order to give customers who ship humanitarian goods time to adjust their contracts while the sanctions on Mahan Air will take immediate effect.
“The Iranian regime uses its aviation and shipping industries to supply its regional terrorist and militant groups with weapons, directly contributing to the devastating humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
The Iranian government denounced the sanctions and said it would find various ways to bypass the sanctions.
IRISL is Iran’s major shipping line, operating a fleet of 115 ocean-going vessels with total capacity of 3.3m dwt.