The United States has acted against two Iranian companies suspected of helping to proliferate weapons of mass destruction through involvement in Iran's nuclear program.
The U.S. Treasury Department Wednesday ordered American banks to freeze any accounts or other financial assets in the United States belonging to the Novin Energy company and Mesbah Energy company.
Officials also are prohibiting Americans from doing business with the two companies.
The Treasury Department said the Novin Energy company has transferred millions of dollars on behalf of Iran's atomic energy agency to entities linked to the country's nuclear program. The department said the Mesbah Energy company is a state-owned entity that has been used to obtain products for Iran's heavy water project.
A heavy water reactor has the potential to produce high-quality plutonium, a key component for a nuclear weapon.
Some information for this report provided by AP.