US announces new sanctions against Iran despite coronavirus crisis

US announces new sanctions against Iran despite coronavirus crisis

The United States imposed a new set of sanctions against Iran on Thursday, targeting individuals and companies allegedly linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Middle East Eye reports.

The new measures come despite pleas from key members of Congress and world powers that Washington ease its unilateral sanctions, as Iran struggles to cope with the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

The hardest-hit country in the Middle East, Iran has reported nearly 30,000 cases of Covid-19, and confirmed more than 2,200 deaths. 

The new sanctions target Iraqi and Iranian firms that the US Treasury Department accuses of acting on behalf of the IRGC's Quds Force, which coordinates Tehran's foreign military activities with its regional allies.

The companies include the Reconstruction Organisation of the Holy Shrines in Iraq (ROHSI) and the Kosar Company, an Iraqi firm associated with it. The two groups build and maintain Shia holy sites, but Washington says they are controlled by the Quds Force.

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