The Obama administration officially started sanctioning 11 entities with ties to Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Sunday’s sanctions were initially announced Dec. 30 as a response to two missile tests conducted by Iran last year. The delay in application came after the administration caved to extensive pressure from the Iranian government, according to U.S. and congressional officials speaking to The Wall Street Journal.
“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 official Adam Szubin in a statement Sunday.
The sanctions will focus on two key networks accused of providing direct support to Iran’s missile development. The targets range from a Hong Kong-based trading firm to North Korea’s state-owned mining company. The Department of the Treasury alleged Iran and North Korea have collaborated on rocket booster technology for two years.
The Treasury Department’s application of sanctions follows Saturday’s announcement of a key step in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal), known as “implementation day,” which will see certain international sanctions placed on Iran for its nuclear activities removed. In addition, the U.S. and Iran engaged in a prisoner swap which saw four U.S. nationals released in exchange for seven individuals convicted of sanctions violations and engaging in covert activities on Iran’s behalf. A fifth American is reported to have also been released in a separate agreement.
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