US imposes new sanctions on Iran’s missile program

The US slapped five Iranian companies with sanctions over their involvement in the country’s ballistic missile program. 

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

The US on Thursday imposed sanctions on five Iranian entities over their involvement in the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missiles program.

The five entities being targeted are subsidiaries of Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group, part of the Iranian Defense Ministry. Shahid is already under US sanctions. The new designations ensure its subsidiaries are punished too.

“These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

“As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) fund foreign militants, terrorist groups and human rights abuses,” Mnuchin charged.

The IRGC paramilitary force is in charge of the country’s missile program.

Last month, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley showed reporters missile parts with logos suggesting they were manufactured by Shahid. Haley said the fragments were recovered from missiles launched at Saudi Arabia by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

“You will see us build a coalition to really push back against Iran and what they’re doing,” Haley  said. “The fight against Iranian aggression is the world’s fight.”

Earlier that month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that Iran may be defying a UN call to halt ballistic missile development even as it complies with the nuclear deal with six world powers.

The UN chief said in a report to the Security Council (UNSC) that the UN is investigating Iran’s possible transfer of ballistic missiles to Houthi Shiite rebels in Yemen that may have been used in launches aimed at Saudi Arabia on July 22 and November 4.

The new sanctions come amid widespread anti-government protests in Iran. While these sanctions are unrelated to the ongoing protests in Iran, Mnuchin said more sanctions “targeting human rights abuses are coming.”