U.S. sanctions two networks linked to Iran’s missile proliferation program

"We urge governments worldwide to recognize the extraordinary lengths to which the regime in Tehran will go to conceal its behavior."

By REUTERS
August 28, 2019 21:41
2 minute read.
Iran missile

A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, March 9, 2016. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

The United States imposed sanctions on two networks it says are linked to Iran's government and military organizations, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

One of the networks used a Hong Kong-based front company to evade U.S. and international sanctions and target U.S. technology and components for people tied to Iran's government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

The other network obtained Nuclear Suppliers Group–controlled aluminum alloy products for companies owned or controlled by Iran's defense ministry, the department said.

"As the Iranian regime attempts to use complex schemes to hide its efforts to bolster its WMD program, the U.S. government will continue to thwart them at every turn," said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker.

"We urge governments worldwide to recognize the extraordinary lengths to which the regime in Tehran will go to conceal its behavior, and to ensure that their companies and financial institutions are not facilitating Iran's proliferation activities."

The sanctions are part of a U.S. campaign to increase economic pressure on Tehran over its nuclear program. Washington ditched a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and five other countries and has reimposed sanctions on the country

President Hassan Rouhani called on Iranians to unite to overcome an "economic war" waged by the United States, while his government said it would use diplomacy to try to solve the standoff even though it distrusted President Donald Trump.

"We need to unite to fight against and to win this economic war that America has launched against Iran," Rouhani said in a televised speech.

Iran's government spokesman Ali Rabie said on Wednesday: "Taking into account Donald Trump’s personal traits, we don’t trust him; however, Iran has never abandoned diplomacy but we are determined to pursue it as an equal (of the United States)," state TV reported.

Iran describes the U.S. sanctions as "economic warfare" and Rouhani said on Tuesday there would be no talks with the United States until all sanctions imposed on Tehran were lifted.

Since ditching the deal last year, Trump has pursued a policy of "maximum pressure" to try to force Iran into broader talks to restrict its ballistic missile program and end its support for proxy forces around the Middle East.

Iran, which has slowly been breaching the nuclear deal in retaliation for U.S. sanctions, has threatened further violations in early September unless it receives sanctions relief.


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