Washington has prohibited Americans from doing business with nine German firms that the US suspects of being controlled by Iran.
EU countries have also imposed sanctions on Iran in the past
The United States has announced it will sanction 13 European firms it suspects of being controlled by the Iranian government. The US Treasury Department froze all assets the companies have under US jurisdiction and forbid American companies or individuals from doing business with them.
Nine of the firms are registered in Germany, two in Belarus, and one each in Luxembourg and Italy.
The companies include insurance, investment, mining and engineering firms. Seven of the German firms, including IFIC Holding and Ascotec Holding, are based in the western city of Dusseldorf. The others are located in Hamburg and Nettetal.
At a press briefing in Washington on Tuesday, Stuart Levey, the Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, described Iran as "by far the most prolific funder of terrorism in the world."
Sarah Harman (AP, Reuters)
Editor: Nancy Isenson