Iran sanctions 9 American firms as countermeasure

Jones statement coincided with the Department of Treasury's announcement of new sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile programme.

The new sanctions, added by the Treasure Department, target two senior Iranian officials and entities based in China and Iran that are supporting Iran's missile program. "We urge our partners around the world to join us in calling out individuals and entities who violate global sanctions targeting Iran's human rights abuses".

They also backed "terrorist acts carried out by this regime; participation and assistance in supporting Takfiri terrorism and repression of people in the region; and effective cooperation in acts against the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran", the statement added.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and its foreign ministry on Thursday condemned the new USA sanctions and announced plans to impose its own against "nine U.S. individuals and companies".

The United States claims that Iran's missile tests violated Resolution 2231, which was adopted in July 2015 to endorse the nuclear agreement.

Under that deal, sanctions punishing Iran for its nuclear program were waived in exchange for Iran's commitment to roll back its nuclear activity in ways that would ensure it could not develop nuclear weapons.

Washington D.C. [USA], May 18: The Trump administration has signaled that it would continue the Iran nuclear deal made under the Barack Obama administration for the meantime as the still forming a new comprehensive Iran policy.

But it imposed new measures to punish Iranian defence officials and a Chinese business tied to Tehran's ballistic missile programme, which it says is in breach of global law because they could carry nuclear warheads in the future.

The reviewing whether to continue honoring what President Donald Trump has called "the terrible Iran deal".

Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies non-profit policy group and an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, argued that the Trump administration was pursuing a "waive and slap" approach that temporarily suspends some sanctions while imposing others.

Stuart Jones, the top US diplomat in charge of the Middle East, said the still forming a "comprehensive Iran policy" that addresses Iran's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and militant groups in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

The US State Department said however that a blockade of Iranian oil exports would remain lifted under the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran, the US and EU.

The Trump administration will have to waive more sanctions next month if it wants to stick by the nuclear deal.

The State Department also released a new report criticizing Iran for human rights abuses.

The election will occur just before Trump leaves on an eight-day trip to Europe and the Middle East, with his first stop in Saudi Arabia, a bitter regional rival of Iran. Additionally, this decision also seems to be a demonstration of the extent to which Trump's foreign policy advisers, including Defense Secretary Mattis, Secretary of State Tillerson, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, have apparently managed to moderate numerous positions that Trump had taken on the campaign trail.

  • Zachary Reyes