US slaps 18 Iranian individuals, groups with sanctions over missiles program

Iranian clergymen watch a Shahab-3 long-range ballistic missile fird by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the desert outside the holy city of Qom.

:: The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled new economic sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile program and for contributing to regional tensions, one day after warning Tehran that it was not following the spirit of its nuclear agreement with world powers.

The US Department of Treasury, in a statement, said it was targeting 18 entities and individuals for supporting what is said was “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.”

Those sanctioned had backed Iran’s military or Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by developing drones and military equipment, producing and maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components, the US said. Others has also ‘orchestrated the theft of US and Western software programs’ sold to Iran’s government, the Treasury Department said.

The US State Department had also designated two Iranian organizations involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, according to the Treasury Department.

‘Necessary measure’

Iranian opposition groups have welcomed the sanctions as a “necessary measure in confronting the mullahs’ dictatorship as the main source of regional crises and instability”.

“Today’s actions need to be complemented by designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity and its expulsion from the Middle East region,” a statement from the Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran given to Al Arabiya English read.

“A majority of the people of Iran and of the region demand the designation of the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and its expulsion in particular from Syria and Iraq. Such a designation is a prerequisite to ending conflict and crisis in the Middle East,” the statement added.

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