U.S. sanctions Iran’s ballistic missile program

SanctionsThe U.S. Treasury Department unleashed sanctions against 11 people and companies involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program on Jan. 17, 2016, just one day after President Obama lifted sanctions based on Iran’s nuclear program.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control is blocking the assets of Mabrooka Trading, a company based in the United Arab Emirates, for its role in procuring components for Iran’s ballistic missiles. Also sanctioned are other companies and individuals involved in the program, which tested two ballistic missiles last year.

Those tests posed a dilemma for the Obama administration as it tried to complete an international agreement for Iran to roll back its nuclear program. Republicans have been critical of Obama’s decision to delay pressing Iran on other fronts — including ballistic missile tests, support for terrorism and the brief capture of 10 U.S. sailors who had wandered into Iranian waters last week — while Iran worked to comply with the the nuclear deal.

The new sanctions were announced only after a plane carrying four Americans left Iranian air space on Jan 17, 2016. The released Americans, plus a fifth U.S. citizen released earlier, were part of a prisoner exchange negotiated in a separate side deal to the nuclear agreement. In return, U.S. officials have said Obama will grant clemency to seven Iranians charged or convicted of attempting to evade the U.S. nuclear sanctions against Iran.

Treasury officials said the United States will “will vigorously press sanctions” against Iran on other fronts because of its support for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program.”

“Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat to regional and global security, and it will continue to be subject to international sanctions,” said Adam J. Szubin, acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

Source: USA Today

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