US sanctions Iran officials, Chinese network over missile program

US sanctions Iran officials, Chinese network over missile program
US sanctions Iran officials, Chinese network over missile program
Author

19 May, 2017

The Iranian foreign ministry statement underlined that the Islamic Republic's missile program does not violate any of Iran's global commitments as well as the 2231 resolution of UN.

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is extending sanctions relief for Iran that was granted under the 2015 nuclear agreement, while imposing new economic penalties over Iranian ballistic-missile activity.

The existence of the new Treasury sanctions and State Department human rights report have not previously been reported. In the meantime, Jones said, the USA will keep implementing the deal, including the sanctions relief. The State Department said it will "continue implementing US sanctions-lifting commitments".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivers a a statement on Iran last month at the State Department.

The sanctions imposed over Iran's record on human rights, terrorism and ballistic missiles has scared valuable foreign investors seen as indispensable to reviving the economy.

He also called on Iran to immediately release Americans detained in the country.

"We are communicating to the U.S. Congress that the United States continues to waive sanctions as required to continue implementing U.S. sanctions-lifting commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action", said Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones in a statement.

China has long expressed its dissatisfaction with the U.S.' use of the sanctions weapon, which frequently affects Chinese individuals and companies allegedly linked to weapons or nuclear development in Iran or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. But so far, the administration has not taken steps to exit the agreement - a move which would upset key European allies with whom the deal was negotiated. The Obama administration did so in mid January, forcing the Trump administration to decide by Wednesday whether to renew them or to put the wider Iran deal at risk.

However, the US Treasury issued fresh sanctions against specific officials and a Chinese business with links to Iran's missile programme.

Mr Rouhani has vowed to work towards the removal of remaining sanctions and called for more time to allow the benefits of the deal to reach ordinary Iranians.

"The deal won't go anywhere next week", said Suzanne Maloney, an Iran analyst at the Brookings Institution. "This is not a major indication of a policy change".

The State Department said Iran would continue to receive relief from decades-old economic measures punishing Tehran for its nuclear program.

Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former United States assistant secretary of defence, said the Trump administration's continuation of the nuclear deal is similar to the situation with China.

But the summit could be overshadowed by a surprise attendee: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court and shunned by the United States for the past 10 years.

Advocates said that deal proponents should not be complacent just because the Trump administration issued these waivers.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hit back at Tillerson, saying "worn-out US accusations" could not "mask its admission of Iran's compliance" with the agreement.

"My understanding is that it is supposed to be a top to bottom review, including on the utility of the JCPOA to manage Iran's regional behavior", Nephew said. Both Dubowitz, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and Albright, a physicist with the Institute for Science and International Security, have heavily criticized the nuclear agreement.

"The inter-agency actions today demonstrate that the Trump administration is developing a comprehensive strategy to counter the threat from Iran", the official said.


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