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Trump Sanctions Iran over Missiles, Continues Sanctions Relief over Nukes

19 May 2017

While extending sanctions relief for Iran under the nuclear deal, the Treasury Department separately announced it had imposed sanctions on two Iranian defense officials, an Iranian company, a Chinese national and three Chinese companies for supporting Iran's ballistic missile program.

"As we continue to closely scrutinise Iran's commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and develop a comprehensive Iran policy, we will continue to hold Iran accountable for its human rights abuses with new actions", Stuart Jones, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Ambassador, said yesterday.

Nevertheless, his statement added, the Treasury Department will apply new targeted sanctions on individuals and firms helping Iran's banned ballistic missile program.

During Trump's election campaign he vowed to "rip up" the nuclear agreement with Tehran if elected, calling it "the worst deal ever".

The Trump administration will have to waive more sanctions next month, should it wish to maintain the historic nuclear deal.

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He also predicted that the United States government would begin a fresh wave of sanctions against Tehran on bogus charges following Iran's presidential election.

Under the sanctions also hit a Chinese citizen and the Chinese company, said the U.S. Treasury Department.

Although oil sales have rebounded since the deal came into effect in January 2016, Iran's continued exclusion from the worldwide banking system has prevented it from signing much needed trade and investment deals with Europe and Asia. A State Department spokesman declined comment on the matter.

At the same time, the Trump administration imposed new penalties on Iranian and Chinese entities for supporting Iran's ballistic missile program.

Since then his rhetoric against this particular agreement has softened, however, he has simultaneously hardened his stance against other non-nuclear issues his administration has with Iran and launched a government-wide review of the Iranian state's policies. The most recent waiver, issued by former Secretary of State John Kerry in December, was set to expire this week.

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Also designated for sanctions was Chinese national Ruan Runling, who the Office of Foreign Assets Control said has "provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of Iran's Shiraz Electronics Industries".

In a retaliation move, Iran added nine Americans and companies to its own list of 15 US companies for human rights violations and cooperation with Israel.

Iran is prohibited from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles created to be capable of delivering a nuclear weapon, under UN Security Council resolution 2231. "Iran will continue its missile program forcefully...as planned", he said.

Under the 2015 deal, the US and other world powers eased sanctions after the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran had taken a series of steps to pull its nuclear program back from the brink of weapons capability.

Although Trump continued ex-president Barack Obama's pact, which he has always been criticizing and ordered to review the deal, the USA has a tough position towards Islamic Republic.

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