Iran decries new U.S. sanctions on ballistic missile program


The ministry in a statement said Iran's right to strengthen its military capabilities is not a violation of the country's nuclear agreement with world powers.

The sanctions target Iranian officials involved with developing the country's ballistic missile program as well as Chinese suppliers of ballistic missile technology.

"It's a clear message to foreign banks and companies looking to do business with Iran: You will be taking significant risks if you deal with a regime engaged in continued malign conduct and still covered by a web of expanding non-nuclear sanctions", he said.

The notification of the retention of the waivers follows an April finding by Washington that Iran is complying with its side of the November 2015 nuclear deal - described by Donald Trump as "the worst deal ever" during his election campaign previous year - which eased sanctions against the Islamic Republic in return for a curbing of activities which the major powers claimed could lead to the development of nuclear weapons.

The new sanctions came at a sensitive time for Iran, with presidential elections just two days away. It was renewed today. On April 18, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iran has complied to date with its requirements under the deal, while calling the deal a failure a day later. For one thing, all of the available evidence indicates that Iran is complying with its obligations under the deal with respect to halting certain forms of research, turning over raw materials used in the program, and allowing global inspectors to have access to its research facilities to ensure compliance with the terms of the deal. Iran will hold is presidential election on Friday, May 19, and sees the incumbent moderate president Rouhani face off with a conservative hard-line challenger, Ebrahim Raisi. In a memo to Tillerson and the secretaries of Energy and Treasury, Trump said there's enough oil being produced now by other countries that Iran's output could be reduced without hurting global supplies. Rouhani has gone further, vowing to end all remaining sanctions still imposed for human-rights abuses, ballistic missile tests and terrorism support.

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Iran Air finalized a deal last month with ATR for 20 twin-propeller aircraft, with an option to buy 20 more.

Also, some of the waivers were set to expire this week unless they were extended by President Trump.

President Donald Trump's administration took a key step Wednesday toward preserving the nuclear deal with Iran, coupling the move with fresh sanctions for ballistic-missile work to show it isn't going light on the Islamic republic.

However, the department also announced the imposition of new unrelated sanctions against Iranian defence officials and an Iranian "entity". It should go without saying that the Iranian interpretation of many aspects of this deal favors their development of a nuclear weapon.