On January 15, the State Department added 15 metals to its list of banned imports to Iran, including seven types of aluminum, six types of steel and two types of zirconium. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the metals were “used in connection with Iran’s nuclear, military or ballistic missile programs.” He threatened sanctions against companies that transferred the metals to Iran’s construction sector, which he said was controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). “The IRGC’s construction firm and many of its subsidiaries remain sanctioned by the United Nations because they were directly involved in the clandestine construction of the uranium enrichment site at Fordow,” he said in a statement.
The Trump administration has sanctioned several Iranian and foreign companies involved in Iran’s metal industry since May 2019, when President Donald Trump issued an executive order prohibiting transactions related to Iran’s aluminum, copper, iron and steel sectors. The following is a statement by the State Department on the metal sanctions.
Statement by Pompeo on January 15: Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and military programs pose continued threats to the world’s safety and security. To address these threats, I am increasing the scope of State Department-administered Iran metals-related sanctions. Today, the State Department is identifying 15 specific materials used in connection with Iran’s nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs. Those who knowingly transfer such materials to Iran are now sanctionable pursuant to Section 1245 of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act.
Under this same provision of law, I am continuing my determination that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) controls Iran’s construction sector. It is important for the international community to remember that the IRGC’s construction firm and many of its subsidiaries remain sanctioned by the United Nations because they were directly involved in the clandestine construction of the uranium enrichment site at Fordow. As a result of this IRGC determination, any knowing transfer of certain materials, including graphite or raw or semi-finished metals, to or from Iran to be used in connection with the construction sector of Iran remains sanctionable.
The 15 materials I have determined are used in connection with Iran’s nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs are:
- ALUMINIUM 6061-T6
- ALUMINIUM 6061-O
- ALUMINIUM 6063-T5
- ALUMINIUM 7075-O
- AISI 316L
- ALUMINIUM 6061-F
- AISI 309
- AISI 304
- ALUMINIUM 6063-T1
- ALUMINIUM 7075-T6
- ZIRCONIUM CARBIDE (ZrC)
- ZrSiO2 (ZIRCON SAND, ZIRCONIUM SILICATE)
- 4340 STEEL