The Trump administration on Friday imposed sanctions against multiple entities and people involved in procuring materials and technology to support Iran’s ballistic missile program and the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. The move comes after Iran conducted a ballistic missile test Sunday.
“Iran’s continued support for terrorism and development of its ballistic missile program poses a threat to the region, to our partners worldwide, and to the United States. Today’s action is part of Treasury’s ongoing efforts to counter Iranian malign activity abroad that is outside the scope of the JCPOA,” said John E. Smith, director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. “We will continue to actively apply all available tools, including financial sanctions, to address this behavior.”
The Treasury Department said that the sanctions are consistent with the Iranian nuclear deal’s guidelines and as a result of the sanctions, “all property and interests in property of those designated today subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”
The sanctions target a longtime procurement agent for the ballistic missile program as well as eight people and entities in his Iranian-based and China-based network. They also target an Iranian procurement company and its network based in the Persian Gulf and five people and entities that are part of an Iranian-based procurement network.
Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets also designated a group supporting the revolutionary guard that works with Hezbollah based in Lebanon.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and engages in and supports violent activities that destabilize the Middle East. This behavior seems continuous despite the very favorable deal given to Iran by the Obama Administration. These sanctions target these behaviors,” White House National Security Adviser Michael Glynn said in a statement.
Several congressional sources have confirmed to CBS News’ Margaret Brennan that this round of sanctions on Iran was essentially “pre-baked” at Treasury during the Obama Administration, which had been reluctant to launch them. Since they were ready to go, the Trump administration was able to pull the trigger just two weeks into office. An Obama official – Adam Szubin – is still running the treasury financial sanctions division. A current senior administration official described the sanctioning of these 25 entities as “initial steps.”
Senior administration officials said the U.S. will “work positively with Iran if it keeps commitments” to the nuclear deal while also “aggressively counter its terrorism activities.” Officials would not comment on whether there has been diplomatic contact with Iran so far.
Just a few hours before the sanctions were released, the president tweeted about Iran.
This comes just a two days after Flynn said that the administration was putting Iran “on notice” after it tested a ballistic missile.
“Iran continues to threaten U.S. friends and allies in the region,” Flynn said at the daily White House press briefing, adding that the U.S. is putting Iran on notice because “Iran is now feeling emboldened,” and the Obama administration failed “to respond adequately” to Iran’s actions.
His comments came after Iran’s ballistic missile test, and following the attack of a Saudi frigate by Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The ballistic missile launch flew 550 nautical miles and then exploded, CBS News’ David Martin reported. According to the Associated Press, a defense official said that the missile test had ended with a “failed” re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
CBS News’ Margaret Brennan contributed to this report.