The US has sanctioned nine entities in South Africa, Hong Kong, China, as well as three Iranian nationals over their involvement in the sale of Iranian petrochemical products, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
"The Department of State designated nine entities based in South Africa, Hong Kong and China, as well as three Iranian individuals - all for knowingly engaging in the significant transactions for the purchase of petrochemical products from Iran," Pompeo said.
Earlier, Tehran called on Washington to lift its economic sanctions as they prevent Iran from adequately responding to the Covid-19 outbreak. Other countries, such as Russia and China, have also urged the US to cancel the sanctions against Iran.
As of Tuesday, the death toll from the new coronavirus in Iran had reached 988, with some 16,000 infected.
The US reimposed its economic sanctions on Iran in 2018 after accusing Tehran of breaching the 2015 nuclear deal.