Iran denounces new U.S. sanctions

Ben Sales

(JTA) — Days after its landmark nuclear deal came into affect, Tehran castigated the United States for issuing new sanctions on Sunday tied to Iran’s ballistic missile program.

According to Iran’s ISNA news agency, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said, “Iran’s missile program has never been designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.”

Ansari referred to the new penalties as illegitimate, saying that the Islamic Republic of Iran “responds with determination to such propaganda by accelerating its legal ballistic missile program and boosting defense capabilities.”

After lifting sanctions on Iran’s nuclear activities, the U.S. Treasury Department announced on Sunday that 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 their ballistic missile program, in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution.

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

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

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