WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday announced actions targeting a number of companies and individuals around the world for evading U.S. sanctions against Iran.
With the move, the U.S. freezes the assets of the designated sanction-evaders under U.S. jurisdiction and bans American citizens from carrying out transactions with them, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
The targeted companies and individuals are located across the world, operating in Turkey, Spain, Germany, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Liechtenstein, the statement said.
The move marks the second time Washington takes aim at violators of sanctions on Iran since world powers reached an interim deal with Iran on Tehran's controversial nuclear program in November.
Under the six-month deal which begins on Jan. 20, Tehran agreed to halt part of the nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief. However, the U.S. has warned that this does not mean Iran is open for business.
Thursday's actions "reflect the United States' sustained commitment to continue enforcing our existing sanctions," the statement said.
"The United States has made clear that...the overwhelming majority of sanctions remain in effect and will continue to be vigorously enforced," said David Cohen, Treasury's Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
On Tuesday, Cohen told Senate Foreign Relations Committee that over the last six weeks, he had traveled to Britain, Germany, Italy, Austria, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates carrying the message: "Iran is not open for business."
"In all of these engagements, we have made clear that we will continue to respond to Iran's efforts to evade our sanctions wherever they may occur," Cohen said.
Some U.S. senators are seeking to ratchet up sanctions against Iran despite the accord, but President Barack Obama has threatened to veto any sanctions bill from Congress.
Iran and the P5+1 group -- the five permanent members of the U. N. Security Council plus Germany -- will start talks on a final nuclear deal on Feb. 18 in Vienna, Austria.