The United States sanctions against Tehran were reimposed after President Donald Trump announced Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Thursday that Washington expands its metal sanctions against Iran to cover 22 additional materials used in various Iranian programs.

“Today, the State Department is identifying 22 specific materials used in connection with Iran’s nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs. Those who knowingly transfer such materials to Iran are now sanctionable pursuant to Section 1245 of the Iranian Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act,” Pompeo’s statement said.

Pompeo also noted that the IRGC’s construction firm and many of its subsidiaries remain sanctioned by the United Nations, claiming that “they were directly involved in the construction of the uranium enrichment site at Fordow”.

“As a result of this IRGC determination, any knowing transfer of certain materials, including graphite or raw or semi-finished metals, to or from Iran to be used in connection with the construction sector of Iran remains sanctionable”, his statement said.

In early July, Iran filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the impact of Washington’s sanctions amid the coronavirus pandemic, implying that not only country’s oil-dependent economy suffered a blow because of them, but also they undermine Iran’s efforts to tackle COVID-19.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani estimated economic damage done to the country by the US sanctions to about $50 billion.

Sanctions against Iran were re-imposed after Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that envisaged Tehran scaling back its nuclear program in exchange to sanction relief. After Trump’s exit from the deal, Iran announced that it steps away from its nuclear commitments, noting, however, that the country’s nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful.

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