US hits Iran with more sanctions in response to space launch

Simorgh rocket is launched and tested at the Imam Khomeini Space Centre, Iran, in this handout photo released by Tasnim News Agency on July 27, 2017.

:: The United States is slapping Iran with new ballistic missiles sanctions in response to its launch of a satellite-carrying rocket into space a day earlier.

The sanctions target six Iranian subsidiaries of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group. The Treasury Department says that group is “central” to Iran’s ballistic missiles program.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the sanctions illustrate deep US concerns about Iran’s missile testing and other actions. He says the US will continue countering Iran’s ballistic missile program including Thursday’s “provocative space launch.”

The US has said that launch flouted a UN Security Council resolution because the technology is inherently designed to be able to carry a nuclear payload.

The sanctions come as the Trump administration continues debating its Iran policy and whether to scrap the 2015 nuclear deal.

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