WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Trump administration sanctioned five Iranian entities for facilitating the country’s ballistic missile program.
All five are “owned or controlled by Iran’s Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group,” said a statement Thursday by the Treasury Department, which, the statement said, is already sanctioned because it “is responsible for the development and production of Iran’s solid-propellant ballistic missiles.”
President Donald Trump, who is reconsidering the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which traded sanction relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear program, has said he would ratchet up non-nuclear sanctions, with a special focus on missile delivery systems. The nuclear deal did not encompass missiles, which Trump has said is a serious flaw.
The sanctions make it difficult for the companies to conduct business in international markets.
Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, in the statement also linked the sanctions to the current uprising against Iran’s theocracy, which in part owes to public discontent that suspended sanctions haven’t led to economic progress.
“The United States will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime’s malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses,” he said. “We will not hesitate to call out the regime’s economic mismanagement, and diversion of significant resources to fund threatening missile systems at the expense of its citizenry.”
Separately, Wednesday, a New York jury found Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla guilty of multiple charges of helping Iran evade billions of dollars in sanctions.
The case has raised tensions between the United States and the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who witnesses said knew of the scheme.