U.S. sanctions Iran's Revolutionary Guards

/ Source: The Associated Press

The U.S. is imposing new sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, accusing the elite military unit of illegal trade in missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.

Elements of the Revolutionary Guard are already penalized under an order that took effect last year but Thursday's announcement by the State Department covers the entire organization, along with 12 other private companies and military units from China, North and South Korea, Russia, Sudan, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.

The sanctions, which are valid for two years, bar any U.S. aid, contracts and arms sales or other defense transfers to any of the identified entities. It was not immediately clear if the U.S. government does business with any of them.

Meanwhile, Iran's official news agency says a state-owned bank is dismissing financial sanctions imposed upon them by Washington.

IRNA's report on Thursday carried a statement from the Export Development Bank of Iran, which says the sanctions have no legal base.

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the bank for allegedly providing financial services in support of Iran's weapons program. The action means any bank accounts or other financial assets belonging to the bank that are found in the U.S. are frozen.