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U.S. hits Iran with fresh sanctions as Trump term nears end

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a campaign rally in Dalton, Georgia, U.S., on the eve of the run-off election to decide both of Georgia’s Senate seats January 4, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

January 5, 2021

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States on Tuesday blacklisted a Chinese company that makes elements for steel production, 12 Iranian steel and metals makers and three foreign-based sales agents of a major Iranian metals and mining holding company, seeking to deprive Iran of revenues as U.S. President Donald Trump’s term winds down.

In a statement, the U.S. Treasury Department named the China-based company as Kaifeng Pingmei New Carbon Materials Technology Co Ltd. (KFCC), saying it specialized in the manufacture of carbon materials and provided thousands of metric tonnes of materials to Iranian steel companies between December 2019 and June 2020.

Among the 12 Iranian companies blacklisted are the Pasargad Steel Complex and the Gilan Steel Complex Co, both of which were designated under Executive Order 13871 for operating in the Iranian steel sector.

The others are: Iran-based Middle East Mines and Mineral Industries Development Holding Co (MIDHCO), Khazar Steel Co, Vian Steel Complex, South Rouhina Steel Complex, Yazd Industrial Constructional Steel Rolling Mill, West Alborz Steel Complex, Esfarayen Industrial Complex, Bonab Steel Industry Complex, Sirjan Iranian Steel and Zarand Iranian Steel Co.

The Treasury said it was also designating MIDHCO’s Germany-based subsidiary GMI Projects Hamburg GmbH, its China-based World Mining Industry Co Ltd and U.K.-based GMI Projects Ltd for being owned or controlled by MIDHCO.

“The Trump Administration remains committed to denying revenue flowing to the Iranian regime as it continues to sponsor terrorist groups, support oppressive regimes, and seek weapons of mass destruction,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement. Trump’s term ends on Jan. 20, when Democrat President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in to succeed him.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, Daphne Psaledakis and Doina Chiacu; writiing by Arshad Mohammed; editing by Doina Chiacu and Jonathan Oatis)

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