US hits Iran with new sanctions, hopes for prisoner dialogue

Pompeo announces new Iran sanctions

(AP) - The Trump administration is hitting several Iranian transport firms with sanctions as it continues its “maximum pressure campaign" against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The sanctions target Iran’s state shipping line and a China-based company that has been involved in delivering missile parts to Iran.

They also added a layer of new penalties to a previously sanctioned Iranian airline, Mahan Air.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the sanctions on Wednesday even as he expressed hope that a weekend prisoner swap with Iran could lead to a dialogue with Tehran over prisoners.

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