The United States has announced it is imposing sanctions against "seven foreign entities," including Venezuela's state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, as part of new efforts to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The announcement was made by Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg in Washington on May 24.
"Iran uses revenues from its energy sector to fund its nuclear program as well as to mask procurement of dual use items," he told reporters. "Today's action adds further pressure on Iran to comply with its international obligations."
The State Department also announced additional sanctions on 16 companies and individuals from China, Syria, Iran, Belarus for nuclear proliferation activities involving both Iran and North Korea.
In London, deputy U.S. national security advisor Ben Rhodes said the United States would further "tighten the screws" on Iran.
The European Union on May 23 tightened its own sanctions on Iran, adding more than 100 firms to a blacklist of companies hit by an assets freeze.
compiled from agency reports