Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Iran: New US Sanctions on Missile Work Show 'Ill Will'

As Al-Monitor first predicted May 14, however, the waiver was accompanied by harsh "foot stomping" meant to convey the message that Trump is determined to keep the pressure on Iran for non-nuclear-related malfeasance.

That was a relief to Mr Rouhani, who made the 2015 nuclear deal the centrepiece of his efforts to end Iran's isolation and rebuild its economy with foreign investment.

Aiming to undercut the perception that Trump is softening on Iran, the US paired the announcement with new sanctions punishing Iran for its ballistic missiles program.

"As long as Iran abides by its commitments, it is in the best interest of USA national security [for the US] to continue [to] meet its obligations under the deal and refrain from steps that undermine the agreement", Davenport said. Pulling out in the absence of clear Iranian violations would likely upset US allies and other nations involved in making the deal work. The US said his network helped produce electronics, such as missile guidance for Iran's 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.

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China has complained repeatedly to the United States about unilateral sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies linked to either Iran or North Korea's nuclear or missile programmes.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in April that Iran was complying with its side of the bargain, but has described the country as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. US President Donald Trump, on the campaign trail, suggested that if elected his Administration might take a very different path towards Iran and might do so very quickly upon taking office, he said. "And they were also at the table and they still support the deal". Through a newly formed organization called Diplomacy Works, Kerry and several national security experts who served under former U.S. President Barack Obama are fighting to protect the nuclear agreement, The Independent reported.

Wendy Sherman, who served as undersecretary of State for political affairs from 2011 to 2015, said that the nuclear deal allows the use "all options" if Iran were to backpedal on the deal. The State Department also released a new report criticizing Iran for human rights abuses, including the alleged mistreatment of prisoners.

In Iran's presidential election on Friday, President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist cleric whose administration negotiated the nuclear deal, is battling a conservative challenger and trying to convince voters he can deliver on promises of economic growth.

A spokesman for the administration explained that the agreement is undergoing a review and only when that's finished will "comprehensive Iran" policy be formulated.

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