Trump enacts fresh sanctions on Iran to punish its ballistic missile program

The US Treasury Department said it has enacted new sanctions on 25 firms or individuals connected to Iran's ballistic missile program.

Iran missile test
A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran Reuters

Trump's warning for Iran last week has turned to action on Friday as the Treasury Department enacted new sanctions on 25 firms or individuals connected to Iran's ballistic missile program and those providing support to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force.

US officials said the new round of sanctions does not affect any individual or firm that had sanctions lifted as part of the nuclear accord the Islamic republic had signed with the Obama administration.

The officials said that the deals between US companies and Iran, like an agreement with Boeing for a new fleet of jets, were not likely to be affected by the fresh sanctions.

It was on Wednesday the US national security adviser Michael Flynn called Iran's test a "provocative" breach of a UN Security Council resolution. And the next day, Trump tweeted that "Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE" and should have been "thankful" for the "terrible deal."

However, Iranian adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, called the warning as US leader's "baseless ranting" and said that even Americans were not satisfied with "Trump's extremism."

The Firms

The Treasury Department said the list of new US sanctions includes 12 legal entities and 13 real entities, and added that besides Iran, certain sanctioned companies are active in Lebanon, the UAE and China.

The 13 real entities subject to the sanctions are as follows: Yahya Al-Hajj, Abdolla Asgharzadeh, Tenny Darian, Hasan Dehghan Ebrahimi, Abd-al-Amir Muhammad Farhat, Mohammad Magham, Kambiz Rostamian, Ali Sharifi, Qin Xianhua, Richard Yue, Mostafa Zahedi, Ghodrat Zargari and Carol Zhou, IRNA said.

The following entities have also been added to the sanction list of the US Department of the Treasury:

Cosaling Business Trading Company, East Star Compay, Ervin Danesh Aryan Company, Maher Trading and Construction Company, Mirage for Engineering and Trading, Mirage for Wast Management and Environmental Services, MKS Internatioal CO. LTD., NINGBO New Century Import and Export Company, Ofogh Sabze Darya Company, REEM Pharmeutical, Royal Pearl General T.R.D., Zist Tajhiz Pooyesh Company.


Friday's announcement has been termed as the first concrete step in what the Trump administration has vowed will be a more aggressive approach to Iran.

Trump had refused to rule out military action against Iran, saying that "nothing is off the table" when it comes to confronting destabilizing behavior from the country.

Trump had been a staunch critic of the nuclear deal that Obama signed with Iran, and Republicans soon welcomed the action on Friday.

"Iran's dangerous and provocative acts are a direct threat to the United States and our allies," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce in a statement, according to a CNN report. "I'm glad the administration is taking long-overdue steps to hold the regime accountable."

A bipartisan group of senators had encouraged aggressive action against Iran in a letter to Trump on Thursday as a rebuttal to its missile launches and support for terror organizations.

The senators wrote in the letter that Iranian leaders must feel sufficient pressure to cease deeply destabilizing activities, from sponsoring terrorist groups to continued testing of ballistic missiles.

The Treasury Department said it was freezing all US assets for those individuals and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them. A US official said the individuals who came under sanction on Friday have "touch points" in the US financial system, but couldn't detail their exact exposure in the United States or the precise impact the sanctions will have monetarily.