Iran denounces new US sanctions on ballistic missile program


(JTA) — Days after the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers went into effect, the United States issued new sanctions tied to Iran’s ballistic missile program.

On Sunday, the Treasury Department announced it would impose penalties on 11 individuals and companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for helping to provide Iran with secret materials to develop its ballistic missile program in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

“Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat to regional and global security, and it will continue to be subject to international sanctions,” Treasury Undersecretary Adam Szubin said in a statement. “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 destabilization, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program.”

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Hossein Jaber Ansari, said “Iran’s missile program has never been designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons,” according to Iran’s ISNA news agency. Ansari referred to the new penalties as illegitimate, saying his country “responds with determination to such propaganda by accelerating its legal ballistic missile program and boosting defense capabilities.”

Since the historic deal was reached in July between Iran and six world powers, Iran has test-launched ballistic missiles at least once.

Iran met its requirements on the pact last week and sanctions were lifted.

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