The United States is expected to impose sanctions on multiple Iranian entities as early as Friday, in response to Tehran’s recent ballistic missile test, sources told the Reuters news agency on Thursday.
The new sanctions will be in such a way that will not violate the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and the six world powers.
One source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that about eight Iranian entities were to be sanctioned, or “designated” in U.S. legal jargon, for terrorism-related activities and about 17 for ballistic missile-related activities under separate existing U.S. executive orders. The source declined to name the entities.
The sources said the new sanctions had been in the works for some time and that Iran’s decision to test-fire a ballistic missile on Sunday had helped to trigger President Donald Trump’s decision to impose them.
Fox News revealed earlier this week that the Islamic Republic conducted a ballistic missile test on Sunday at a well-known test site outside the city of Semnan, approximately 140 miles east of Tehran.
A day later, officials told Fox News that in early December, Iran had conducted a secret missile launch, in which it fired a Shahab-3, an intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of flying 800 miles.
Iran’s Defense Minister, while acknowledging his country fired a ballistic missile this week, claimed the test did not violate the nuclear deal or UN Resolution 2231, which bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years and which went into effect after the nuclear deal was signed.
Spokespeople for the White House and the State Department had no immediate comment about the new sanctions.
On Wednesday, Trump’s National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, said the United States was putting Iran “on notice” following the ballistic missile test, accusing the Islamic Republic of “destabilizing activity” and of violating the Security Council resolution.
On Thursday, Trump himself blasted the missile test, writing on Twitter that “Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion.
“Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!” he added.