US preparing new sanctions over Iran’s missile test

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The Donald Trump administration is expected to announce new sanctions against Iran to ratchet up pressure on the country over its missile program.

The Treasury Department is expected to announce the sanctions on Friday, a day after President Trump said “nothing is off the table” in terms of a response to Iran’s latest ballistic missile test.

On Wednesday, National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn said the White House was “officially putting Iran on notice” over Sunday’s ballistic missile test.

Flynn repeated the US claims that ballistic missile tests violate a UN Security Council resolution that endorsed Iran’s nuclear deal with the US and other world powers.

Resolution 2231 calls on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

Tehran insists its missile tests do not breach any UN resolution because they are solely for defense purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Sunday’s missile test was the first since Trump took office on January 20.

“The important thing here is we are communicating that Iranian behavior needs to be rethought by Tehran, that we consider these actions to be inherently destabilizing and a threat to our friends and allies,” White House said on Thursday.

As many as 17 Iranian entities may face sanctions over the country’s missile tests, according to people with knowledge of the new measure.

Many sanctions, which had been imposed in response to Iran’s nuclear program, were lifted as part of a landmark nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries, which went into effect in January last year.

Tehran on Thursday rejected the Trump administration’s threats over its latest missile test as “unfounded” and “provocative.”

Trump himself tweeted that Iran had been formally put “on notice” after Sunday’s missile test.

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