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US foreign policy

US sanctions Iran ballistic missile program supplier after Saudi Aramco, Erbil attack

The attacks are a “reminder that Iran’s development and proliferation of ballistic missiles continues to pose a serious threat to international security,” the Treasury Department said.

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Washington slapped new sanctions related to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday despite reports suggesting the Biden administration may soon remove the group from the US foreign terrorist organization blacklist.

The sanctions targeted Iranian national Mohammad Ali Hosseini and his “network of companies” for procuring materials needed for the IRGC’s ballistic missile program.

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“This action reinforces the United States’ commitment to preventing the Iranian regime’s development and use of advanced ballistic missiles,” said Brian Nelson, the undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The US and Iran are currently holding indirect talks in Vienna to reactivate the now-defunct 2015 nuclear deal, which Democrats say curbed Iran’s nuclear program in return for access to billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, citing Iranian-backed attacks on US interests in the region and saying the agreement was “decaying and rotten.”

The deal does not address Iran’s support for proxies and other terrorist groups, nor does it handle its ballistic missile program.

While US and Iranian officials have repeatedly said a deal was close to being finalized, Tehran is demanding that the terror designated be lifted off the IRGC.

“While the United States continues to seek Iran’s return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will not hesitate to target those who support Iran’s ballistic missile program,” Nelson said after Wednesday’s sanctions announcement.

The Treasury Department said it was imposing the new sanctions after Iran’s missile attack on Erbil, Iraq on March 13 and the “Iranian enabled” Houthi missile attack against a Saudi Aramco facility on March 25.

The attacks are a “reminder that Iran’s development and proliferation of ballistic missiles continues to pose a serious threat to international security,” the Treasury Department said.

Nelson added: “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.”

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