The penalties on five Chinese, two Macedonian and two Russian companies as well as one firm each from Belarus, North Korea, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates went into force with the formal publication of their imposition in the Federal Register.
The sanctions, applied under the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 and made public last week by the State Department, were imposed because of "credible information" that the firms had transferred to Iran since 1999 equipment and technology that "have the potential of making a material contribution to WMD, or cruise or ballistic missile systems," the notice said.
The targetted companies will be banned from exporting goods to or receiving contracts or assistance from the United States and US firms will be barred from trading with them for two years.
Though the State Department had announced on April 2 that the penalties would be imposed it had not identified the firms to which they would apply until Wednesday.
The penalized entities are the Baranov Engine Building Association Overhaul Facility of Russia; the Beijing Institute of Opto-Electronic Technology (BIOET) of China; Belarus Belvneshpromservice of Belarus; Blagoja Samakoski of Macedonia; Changgwang Sinyong Corporation of North Korea;
China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) of China; China Precision Machinery Import/Export Corporation (CPMIEC) of China; Elmstone Service and Trading of the United Arab Emirates; Goodly Industrial Company of Taiwan;
Mikrosam of Macedonia; Oriental Scientific Instruments Corporationof China; Vadim Vorobey of Russia and Zibo Chemical Equipment Plant of China.
US officials said last week that a significant amount of the information implicating the firms had come from the unravelling of Pakistani scientist AQ Khan's illicit nuclear proliferation network.