Mahan Air
Mahan Air

The U.S. government on Wednesday said it had sanctioned two companies based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their support of Iranian airline Mahan Air, a move to increase its pressure campaign against Tehran.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that the two UAE-based companies, Parthia Cargo and Delta Parts Supply FZC, provided key parts and logistics service for Mahan Air, which have been blacklisted by the United States since 2011.

UAE-based Iranian national Amin Mahdavi, the CEO and owner of Parthia Cargo, was also designated by the Treasury.

“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, as well as terrorist groups throughout the Middle East,” Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

According to the statement, all property and interests of the property of designated entities and the individual in the United States have been blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier in the day vowed continued resistance against the U.S. sanctions that would eventually “break and go away.”

The designation came amid a fresh round of U.S. maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Following its failed attempt last Friday in the UN Security Council to extend arms embargo against Iran, the United States threatened to invoke snapback sanction, restoring all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Tehran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubled down the snapback rhetoric on Wednesday during his joint press briefing with visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.

Hussein, however, did not comment when asked his stance on U.S. snapback decision on Iran, only saying Iraq sought good relations with both Iran and the United States.

Under Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the six powers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, the arms embargo against Iran expires on Oct. 18, 2020. Tehran said it would not accept a renewal of the embargo.

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