Vexed by new Iranian missile, US slams sanctions against Chinese firms
The US Treasury claims that Chinese firms shipped centrifuges for fuel production, non-ferrous metals with potential military use, and electronics to Iran.
After Iran unveiled its new hypersonic missile 'Fattah' on Tuesday, the US announced the imposition of sanctions on several Chinese and Hong Kong firms claiming that they were supplying Iran's ballistic missile program.
According to the US Treasury, the Chinese companies shipped centrifuges for fuel production, non-ferrous metals with potential military use, electronics, and gyroscopes to Iranian government entities and private companies involved in building the missiles already sanctioned by the US.
The targeted companies include Beijing Shiny Nights Technology Development, Qingdao Zhongrongtong Trade Development, Hong Kong Ke.Do International Trade Co, Lingoe Process Engineering Limited, and Zhejiang Qingji Ind. Co.
Iran's defense attaché in Beijing, Davoud Damghani, was also sanctioned by the Treasury, which alleged that he coordinated the purchase of Chinese supplies for Iran's defense industry.
Treasury Under Secretary Brian Nelson said, "Today's action reinforces our commitment to respond to activities which undermine regional stability and threaten the security of our key partners and allies," adding, "The United States will continue to target illicit transnational procurement networks that covertly support Iran's ballistic missile production and other military programs."
This comes amid fears by the US that Iran is developing nuclear weapons for attack purposes, but Iran remains adamant about the peacefulness of its nuclear program.
Iranian officials have long said the country's military capabilities are solely for defense and that its missile program will never be discussed.
This comes shortly after, earlier today, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) unveiled its first hypersonic ballistic missile, named Fattah, which is capable of bypassing advanced air defense systems.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami, and General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the Commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Force, attended the revealing ceremony.
Fattah, whose name was chosen by Iranian leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei, has a 1,400 km range and is characterized by a very high speed and the ability to maneuver against air defenses.
Just yesterday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed his country's efforts to block Iran from developing any nuclear weapons - a project even Iran has denied investing in.
"If Iran rejects the path of diplomacy, then, as President Biden has repeatedly made clear, all options are on the table to ensure that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons," Blinken said, justifying his statement through the excuse of the "US-Israel relationship" being "underwritten by the United States commitment to Israel's security," calling the commitment "non-negotiable; it is ironclad."