The Obama administration will impose new sanctions against Iran's Revolutionary Guard, officials said Wednesday.
The punitive measures are intended to target affiliates of the Guard for their alleged involvement in producing and distributing weapons of mass destruction.
Wednesday's move by the U.S. Treasury Department expands existing penalties. Western intelligence believes elements within the Guard are spearheading Tehran's weapons programs.
The announcement was made after Iran's nuclear technicians have taken steps to begin enriching uranium at a higher level. Technicians set dozens of centrifuges spinning Tuesday.
The defiant move comes despite international demands for Tehran to halt all enrichment activity. It also puts the Islamic regime even closer to producing nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, President Obama said the sanctions process against Iran is moving quickly. However, he has not given a specific timeline.