Administration ramps up Iran sanctions

The Treasury also announced it was taking further steps to stifle efforts to circumvent these and other sanctions imposed on Iran. 

It identified several companies from across the globe it said served as front companies for Iran's national oil company, including firms in Hong Kong and Malaysia. It also identified a tanker company as an official outlet of the Iranian government, while adding another 20 Iranian banks to a growing list of institutions that will face sanctions.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, hailed the sanctions imposed on the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) as a positive development.

"Sanctioning NITC is a step in the right direction, but we still have a long road ahead of us,” he said. “We must continue to increase pressure on the Iranian regime until it verifiably abandons its nuclear weapons program. The Iranian leaders have put themselves in this corner, and they will not be allowed to wiggle free from this self-imposed bind.”

— Updated at 2:44 p.m.