US sanctions Iran officials, Chinese network over missile program

The U.S. paired the announcement with new, unrelated sanctions that go after Iran for a ballistic missiles program that Washington fears could target U.S. interests in the Middle East or key allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The dual actions, announced by the Departments of State and Treasury, appeared meant to signal a tough stance on Iran even as Trump continued predecessor President Barack Obama's pact under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

But the USA also announced new unrelated sanctions in a bid to show it was not letting Tehran off the hook.

The administration of US President Donald Trump yesterday made a decision to stick by a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and continue waiving sanctions related to its atomic activities.

Washington has labeled Iran as a "state sponsor of terrorism" and accuses it of sowing instability in the region through its backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, Hezbollah militia in Lebanon and Houthi rebels in Yemen's civil war.

But it imposed new measures to punish Iranian defence officials and a Chinese business tied to Tehran's ballistic missile programme, which it says is in breach of worldwide law because they could carry nuclear warheads in the future.

"It's a clear message to foreign banks and companies looking to do business with Iran: You will be taking significant risks if you deal with a country still covered by a web of expanding nonnuclear sanctions", they wrote.

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As lawmakers prepare for an imminent debate over a new bill pressing further sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile development, human.

Iranians are fiercely divided over whether the nuclear deal with the West was a good idea.

The US State Department said however that a blockade of Iranian oil exports would remain lifted under the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran, the US and EU.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hit back at Tillerson, saying "worn-out USA accusations" could not "mask its admission of Iran's compliance" with the agreement.

On Wednesday, Iranian state media outlets said four passenger airplanes were being delivered as the first installment of a deal with French-Italian manufacturer ATR that was finalized after the nuclear agreement.

Iranians are going to the polls on Friday in a crucial election which may determine the country's future direction. If we were to cancel the deal before a plan of action had been formulated, the Iranians could embark on a crash program to build a nuke. In a matter of a couple of months, Iran could have a workable bomb.

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