New York: The United States on Wednesday announced a fresh round of sanctions targeting some Chinese entities and its officials for "knowingly" transporting oil from Iran.

This was said by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo at the 'United Against Nuclear Iran's 2019 Iran Summit' at the Palace Hotel in New York. "We are imposing sanctions on certain Chinese entities for knowingly transporting oil from Iran contrary to United States sanctions. Importantly, we are also imposing sanctions on the executive officers of those companies as well. We are telling China and all nations, know that we will sanction every violation of sanctionable activity," Pompeo said.

"...The more Iran lashes out, the greater our pressure will be," he asserted.

The latest round of sanctions comes after the Donald Trump administration levied penalties on the Iranian national bank, further escalating economic pressure on Tehran as a potential strike in retaliation for recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil fields.

The US and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran for providing artillery to Yemen's Houthi rebels who had claimed responsibility for the drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities that hit nearly 50 per cent of the kingdom's global crude oil supply, despite repeated denial by Tehran.

Pompeo said that the US will take new actions to disentangle the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the Iranian economy, adding that Washington will educate countries and companies on the risks of doing business with IRGC entities.

"We will punish them if they persist in defiance of our warnings," he remarked.

"Iran has a long history of unprovoked aggression, 40 years now, against its own people, against its neighbours...More and more nations are beginning to stand up to Iran's thuggish behaviour, and disengaging economically," Pompeo said.

Ties between the US and Iran worsened after Washington exited from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal last year and re-imposed tough sanctions on Tehran.

During his address to the UN General Assembly, Trump on Tuesday said that Iran's "provocative behaviour" in the Middle East would invite tightened sanctions by the US and called on the international community to act against the country's "bloodlust".