US imposes fresh sanctions on Iran’s missile program

US Treasury Department imposes new sanctions on Iranian companies and individuals in connection with Iran’s ballistic missile programme

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A military truck carrying a missile and a picture of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen during a parade marking the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2015

Updated Jan 18, 2016

The United States Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on 11 Iranian companies and individuals over the country's ballistic missile programme, a day after lifting sanctions implemented over its nuclear programme.

The individuals and companies linked to the missile programme are prevented from using the US banking system.

Hossein Pournaghshband and his UEA-based Mabrooka Trading company, which produced carbon fibre for the Iranian program, lead the blacklist which bars financial institutions and companies from dealing with the sanctioned companies and individuals.

The announcement of the list came after the weekend’s release of US prisoners, a move that sources familiar with the case said was to prevent to endanger their release.

On Saturday, Iran released four US dual national prisoners, including Jason Rezaian, the the Washington Post’s Tehran correspondent who was charged with espionage, as part of a prisoner swap deal with the United States.

The released Americans also include Saeed Abedini, a pastor from Idaho, Amir Hekmati, a former Marine from Michigan, and Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi.

"This action is consistent with the US government's commitment to continue targeting those who assist in Iran's efforts to procure items for its ballistic missile program," the department said in a statement.

The White House, in its summary of the nuclear deal which came into effect on Saturday, noted that not all sanctions on Iran have ended.

"US statutory sanctions focused on Iran's support for terrorism, human rights abuses, and missile activities will remain in effect and continue to be enforced," the White House said.

US President Barack Obama spoke at the White House on Sunday over lifting economic sanctions on Iran.

Obama referring to the newly imposed sanction said that they will continue to enforce these sanctions vigorously.

“We are going to remain vigilant about it. We’re not going to waver," Obama said.

Adam J. Szubin, acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, in a press release said that Iran’s ballistic missile program has posed a significant threat to regional and global security and that the country will continue to be subjected to international sanctions.

“We have consistently made clear that the United States will vigorously press sanctions against Iranian activities outside of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - including those related to Iran’s support for terrorism, regional destabilisation, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program,” he added.

TRTWorld and agencies