U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Iran Over Missile Test

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from The New York Times,

The Trump administration on Friday designated 25 individuals and entities associated “with Iran’s ballistic missile program,” including the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, for sanctions in response to the missile test last weekend, according to a senior administration official.

The sanctions targeted “multiple entities and individuals involved in procuring technology and/or materials to support Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as for acting for or on behalf of, or providing support to, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force,” according to a Treasury Department statement.

The new sanctions are intended to focus on suppliers to the missile program and on groups that help arm terrorist organizations, and they came two days after the Trump administration put Iran “on notice” about its missile tests and its support of terrorism.

The United States is somewhat constrained in imposing new sanctions. Under the nuclear deal with Iran, the United States and the other signers — Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — cannot reimpose nuclear-related sanctions, except if there is evidence that Iran has resumed its nuclear program in violation of the accord. There has been no such evidence.

But missile sanctions, and sanctions for sponsorship of terrorism, do not violate the agreement, which was limited to nuclear activities.

Iran argues that a United Nations Security Council resolution, whose wording was negotiated in Vienna in 2015 at the same time the nuclear accord was reached, stops short of prohibiting missile tests. It simply urges Iran to refrain from such tests, if the missiles are designed to carry nuclear weapons.

Iranian officials have said that since the country has no nuclear weapons, it has no missiles designed to carry them. Outside experts note that a missile’s ability to carry a nuclear weapon depends on the design of its re-entry vehicle, which can be modified with relatively little work.

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