Obama To Announce New Sanctions On Iran’s Missile Program


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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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President Barack Obama’s administration is getting ready to unveil a new set of sanctions against Iran’s missile program, say U.S. officials.

The U.S. Treasury Department plans to target almost one dozen organizations and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates associated with Iran’s ballistic missile program, according to a Wall Street Journal report published Wednesday. Once the new sanctions go into effect, they will be the first implemented against Iran since the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran deal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameni, who has final say on matters of state, penned an open letter to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in October saying that “any imposition of sanctions at any level and under any pretext (including repetitive and fabricated pretexts of terrorism and human rights) on the part of any of the countries involved in the negotiations will constitute a violation of the JCPOA.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. officials are “[retaining] a right under the agreement” to sanction any person or organization involved with non-nuclear issues such as terrorism, human rights and Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Obama’s announcement follows two high-profile ballistic missile tests conducted by Iran in October and early December. (RELATED: Iran Ups Nuclear Threat, Tests Ballistic Missile)

Included in the Treasury Department’s list is the U.A.E.-based Mabrooka Trading Co. LLC, which has allegedly aided Iran’s acquisition of carbon-fiber required for ballistic missiles. Hossein Pournaghshband, owner of the company, will also be sanctioned for his role in using his Hong Kong-based subsidiary to acquire the necessary materials for carbon-fiber production.

Five officials at the Iranian Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics (MODFAL) will be included on the sanctions list. The Treasury alleges Iran has been actively collaborating with North Korea to acquire materials for missile production, as well as conducting joint research on missile development, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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Russ Read