The United States has slammed yet another set of new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program.
The sanctions were imposed on Iran on Tuesday and according to the government, it is deeply concerned about Tehran’s “malign activities” in the Middle East. The sanctions intend to put more pressure on Iran while keeping in place for now a 2015 agreement between Tehran and six world powers to curb its nuclear program in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions.
The US government said it was targeting 18 entities and people for supporting what is said was “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.”
On Monday, the Trump administration said that Iran was complying with the nuclear agreement but it was also in default of the spirit of the accord and Washington would look for ways to strengthen it.
It was the second time Trump certified Iranian compliance with the agreement since he took office in January, despite having described it as “the worst deal ever” during his 2016 election campaign, criticizing then-President Barack Obama whose administration negotiated the accord.
“The United States remains deeply concerned about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity,” the State Department said in a statement.
It said the activities “undercut whatever `positive contributions` to regional and international peace and security were intended to emerge” from the nuclear agreement.
The statement listed Iranian support for groups including Lebanon`s Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas movement, the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Trump administration is reviewing policy on Iran, not only looking at Tehran`s compliance with the nuclear deal but also its behavior in the region which Washington says undermines U.S. interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.
There was no immediate response from Iran to Tuesday’s sanctions announcement.