US considers new Iran sanctions over missile programme

The United States is considering fresh sanctions against Iran for the first time since it reached an historic nuclear agreement with Tehran earlier this year, a senior US official said Thursday.

The sanctions are to target nearly a dozen firms and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates for their role in Iran's ballistic missile programme, unnamed US officials told the Wall Street Journal and CNN.

A senior US official confirmed to dpa Thursday that additional sanctions were under consideration, but did not provide details about what those sanctions might entail.

"We've been looking for some time‎ at options for additional actions related to Iran's ballistic missile programme based on our continued concerns about its activities, including the October 10th launch," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"We are considering various aspects related to additional designations, as well as evolving diplomatic work that is consistent with our national security interests."

News of the possible sanctions drew ire from Iran, with the country's Foreign Ministry denouncing them as a violation of the July accord that provides sanctions relief in exchange for the curtailing of Tehran's civilian nuclear programme.

Tehran denounced the planned sanctions as "illegal," declaring it has a "legitimate right" to increase its defence capabilities, Iranian Foreign Ministery spokesman Jaber Ansari said Thursday.

The US measures would not prevent Iran from pursuing its defence goals, he said, according to the ISNA news agency.

Although the nuclear deal reached by Iran and six world powers in July provides sanctions relief in exchange for steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, it allows sanctions in relation to Tehran's missile programme, the financing of terrorism and human rights violations.

Iran successfully tested a medium-range rocket in October, which the US declared a violation of a UN Security Council resolution.

Last update: Sat, 02/01/2016 - 08:07
Author: 

More from World

Indonesian soldier found alive two weeks after helicopter crash

A soldier has been found alive two weeks after an Indonesian army helicopter he was travelling in crashed, killing...

Six policemen killed in Cairo blast

Six policemen were killed in a blast on a main street in Cairo on Friday, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said.

UN warns tens of thousands displaced in Aleppo in need of aid

Heavy shelling was taking place Friday in the last rebel-held districts of eastern Aleppo, as the United Nations...

South Korean parliament votes to impeach corruption-tainted president

South Korea's National Assembly on Friday voted to impeach President Park Geun Hye, who has been dogged by...

US not allowed to launch South China Sea patrols from the Philippines

Manila will not allow the United States to launch naval and aerial patrols in the disputed South China Sea from the...