US issues fresh sanctions against Iran over nuclear escalations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday issued fresh sanctions targeting Iran in response to “continued nuclear escalations,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

“Over the past month, Iran has announced steps to further expand its nuclear program in ways that have no credible peaceful purpose,” Blinken said.

“We remain committed to never letting Iran obtain a nuclear weapon, and we are prepared to use all elements of national power to ensure that outcome.”

Thursday’s action imposes sanctions on three companies based in the United Arab Emirates the U.S. accused of being involved in the transport of Iranian petroleum or petrochemical products, as well as 11 associated vessels.

Earlier this month, the Group of Seven rich nations warned Iran against advancing its nuclear enrichment program and said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)