US imposes new sanctions on Iran

Washington, July 19 (IANS) The US government on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 18 Iranian individuals and entities, with the move coming a day after the Trump administration said that Iran was complying with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The new sanctions announced by the Treasury and State departments are not related to the nuclear pact but rather to Iran’s ballistic missile programme, Efe reported.

The sanctions apply to “seven entities and five individuals for activities in support of Iran’s military or Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, as well as an Iran-based transnational criminal organisation,” the departments said.

The Trump administration “will continue to aggressively target Iran’s malign activity, including their ongoing state support of terrorism, ballistic missile program, and human rights abuses,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

“These sanctions send a strong signal that the US cannot and will not tolerate Iran’s provocative and destabilising behaviour. We will continue to target the IRGC and pressure Iran to cease its ballistic missile program and malign activities in the region,” Mnuchin said.

Under the new sanctions, all assets of the 18 Iranian individuals and entities subject to US jurisdiction are blocked and US persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

Despite the certification of compliance sent to Congress on Monday, high-ranking White officials said Tehran was non-compliant with “the spirit of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” as the nuclear agreement is known.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Donald Trump want to highlight their perception that Iran continues to be one of the main threats to US interests and regional stability, officials said.

–IANS

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