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U.S. punishes 7 companies for Iran deals

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States has imposed sanctions against seven companies from Russia, North Korea, India and Cuba for arms deals with Iran, State Department officials said Friday.

The sanctions, which took effect on July 28 and were listed Friday in the Federal Register, fall under the Iran-Syria Non-Proliferation Act, which prohibits transfer of sensitive technology to Tehran or Damascus that could be used for weapons of mass destruction programs.

The law was passed in 2005 to amend an earlier law, the Iran Non- Proliferation Act of 2000.

Officials said two Russian companies, two North Korean companies, two Indian companies and one Cuban company were sanctioned because there was "credible information" they had transferred to Iran equipment and/or technology on export control lists.

Such transfers had the "potential of making material contribution to cruise or ballistic missile systems and weapons of mass destruction programs," one official said.

The sanctions mean that that no U.S. department or agency can provide assistance to the companies, or sell them any weapons, munitions or defense services.

In addition, no new U.S. licenses can be provided to the companies and all existing licenses are suspended.

"The sanctions apply to the specific entities and their successors, sub-units or subsidiaries and not to their respective countries or governments," a State Department official said.

The latest move makes a total of 33 entities sanctioned under the Iran-Syrian Non-Proliferation Act.

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