American citizens are not permitted to deal with the companies targeted by the new sanctions.

Shipments 'concealed'

The sanctions come in response to US allegations that Iran is supporting terrorist organisations and seeking to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran denies claims by Washington that it is aiming to build a nuclear weapon and says that its uranium enrichment programme is designed to produce electricity.

The US alleges that IRISL falsified documents to conceal its cargo to the Iranian defence ministry and Armed Forces Logisitics.

"Not only does IRISL facilitate the transport of cargo for UN designated proliferators, it also falsifies documents and uses deceptive schemes to shroud its involvement in illicit commerce," Stuart Levey, the US treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

IRISL's actions are part of a broader pattern of deception and fabrication that Iran uses to advance its nuclear and missile program," he said.