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Published: Wed, July 19, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

US Announces New Iran Sanctions over Ballistic Missiles: State Department

US Announces New Iran Sanctions over Ballistic Missiles: State Department

The Trump administration faced a new congressional deadline Monday to say whether Iran has curbed its nuclear weapons program in line with the accord.

In June the Senate voted for new penalties on Iran, including designating its Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization and imposing sanctions on the country's ballistic-missile program and other activities.

The new sanctions on the Tehran regime are based on existing two executive orders, one dealing with weapons of mass destruction and the other concerned with transnational criminal networks, the Treasury Department explained.

US President Donald Trump's administration has said for the second time that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal.

But senior administration officials made clear that the certification was grudging and said that Trump meant to impose a new round of sanctions against Iran for ongoing "malign activities" in non-nuclear areas such as ballistic missile development and support for terrorism.

U.S. president Donald Trump has been a critic of the nuclear deal with Iran, which he says was not tough enough.

Zarif said he has not as yet spoken with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is reviewing US policy toward Iran, but he is open to doing so.

The talking points also cite the arbitrary arrests of Americans visiting Iran and they slam the previous Obama administration for focusing on signing a nuclear deal at the price of ignoring Iranian activities in the Middle East.

The move comes the day after the administration certified to Congress that Iran is technically complying with the nuclear deal and can continue enjoying nuclear sanctions relief.

"Continued sanctions, calls from the White House for nations to refrain from investing in Iran, and an increase in military encounters between the United States and Iran all threaten the deal", the NIAC added.

"The secretary of state-and the President-intends to emphasize that Iran remains one of the most risky threats to the USA and to regional security", a senior administration official said.

"My number one priority", Donald Trump said to the America Israel Public Affairs Committee on March 21, 2016, "is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran".

At an hourlong meeting last Wednesday, all of the president's major security advisers recommended he preserve the Iran deal for now.

The new sanctions, according to the representative of the White House, will be created to counter large-scale expansion of Iran's Armed Forces, as well as its operations in Syria and the Middle East in general.

He said: "I think our compliance is rather straightforward because it's not for guessing whether we have complied or not". Iran remains on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism for its support for Hezbollah and other Shia militia groups, including in Iraq, Syria and Bahrain.

Questions he posed to former President Barack Obama and his team included, "What do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe?"

The president also told his national security team he would not keep certifying the deal indefinitely, reports said.

But the recertification came with a stern warning.

Most of the cabinet, however, recognizes what a bad idea this is, and how big of an worldwide backlash the U.S. would face in withdrawing from the hard-negotiated nuclear deal.

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