The United States has slapped sanctions against 12 individuals and entities linked to the Iran's nuclear enrichment program.
Based in Iran, Belgium and China, these entities and individuals are linked to the nuclear proliferation-sensitive activities of the Iran Centrifuge Technology Company -- known by its Persian acronym, TESA, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.
In addition to a freeze on any of their assets within the United States, the sanctioned persons and entities will be denied access to the country's financial system and listed online as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferators, Pompeo said.
"The United States strongly condemns Iran's recent expansion of sensitive nuclear activities, including increasing its stockpile of low enriched uranium and enriching uranium at levels above 3.67 per cent," the secretary of state said.
According to Pompeo, there is no credible reason for Iran to expand its nuclear program at this time other than as a transparent attempt to "extort" the international community.