US sanctions suppliers to Iran’s ballistic missile program

The United States on Wednesday announced sanctions targeting several entities it says are involved in procuring supplies for Tehran’s nuclear program.

The move “reinforces” Washington’s commitment to prevent Iran from developing ballistic missiles, said the Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism Brian Nelson in a statement.

He said that while the United States continues to seek “Iran’s full return” to the 2015 nuclear deal, it “will not hesitate to target those who support Iran‘s ballistic missile program.”

“We will also work with other partners in the region to hold Iran accountable for its actions, including gross violations of the sovereignty of its neighbors,” he said.

The sanctions target Iranian national Mohammad Ali Hosseini and his “network of companies” as suppliers of the program, according to the statement.

They follow “Iran’s missile attack on Arbil, Iraq on March 13 and the Iranian enabled Houthi missile attack against a Saudi Aramco facility on March 25 as well as other missile attacks by Iranian proxies against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,” it said.

Iran had claimed responsibility for the March 13 missile strikes, saying they targeted an Israeli “strategic centre” and warning of more attacks.

The sanctions come at a time when the United States seems close to an agreement with Tehran on returning to the nuclear deal, which former president Donald Trump unilaterally exited from in 2018.

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