WASHINGTON — The Trump administration slapped fresh sanctions on two United Arab Emirates-based companies for providing material support to Iran's largest airline, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.
Parthia Cargo and Delta Parts Supply FZC provided parts and logistics services for Iran's Mahan Air, which is currently blacklisted by the U.S., the Treasury said in a statement announcing the designations.
The department also imposed sanctions on Amin Mahdavi, an Iranian national based in the UAE, for owning or controlling Parthia Cargo.
The Treasury said the services provided by Parthia Cargo and Delta Parts Supply FZC, both Dubai-based firms, helped Mahan Air to carry out activities in support of Tehran's maligned agenda, including transporting "terrorists and lethal cargo to Syria" in support of President Bashar Assad's regime.
"Today, the United States continued its maximum pressure campaign against Iran by designating two companies and one individual for procuring parts for Mahan Air," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on the heels of the announcement. "Mahan Air has a long record of ferrying weapons and terrorists around the world for Iran," the nation's top diplomat added.
Wednesday's action bars Americans from dealing with those blacklisted groups and also freezes U.S. assets associated with the sanctioned entities.
"The Iranian regime uses Mahan Air as a tool to spread its destabilizing agenda around the world, including to the corrupt regimes in Syria and Venezuela," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "The United States will continue to take action against those supporting this airline," he added.
The latest revelation comes at a critical time for U.S. diplomatic relations with Iran, which the Trump administration considers a rogue state. Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared after Trump's withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration.
Pompeo plans to lobby on behalf of the Trump administration for a return of all United Nations sanctions on Iran after the U.N. Security Council rejected Washington's bid to extend an arms embargo on Tehran.
Last week, the U.N. Security Council voted to not extend an international arms embargo on Iran. The arms embargo on Iran is currently set to end on Oct. 18 under Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The 2015 nuclear agreement lifted sanctions on Iran that crippled its economy and cut its oil exports roughly in half. In exchange for sanctions relief, Iran accepted limits on its nuclear program and allowed international inspectors into its facilities. Tehran has said it will not negotiate with Washington while sanctions are in place.