U.S. sanctions foreign entities over Iran’s missile program

February 26, 2020 - 23:48

TEHRAN — The U.S. Department of State has imposed sanctions against 13 foreign entities and individuals in China, Iraq, Russia and Turkey for what it called supporting proliferation programs in Iran, North Korea and Syria.

“The United States is sanctioning 13 foreign entities and individuals in China, Iraq, Russia, and Turkey pursuant to the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA),” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This action includes new sanctions against five entities/individuals in China (Luo Dingwen, Baoding Shimaotong Enterprises Services Company Limited, Gaobeidian Kaituo Precise Instrument Co. Ltd , and Wuhan Sanjiang Import and Export Co., Ltd) and Turkey (Eren Carbon Graphite Industrial Trading Company, Ltd) for supporting Iran’s missile program.  The Chinese individual Luo Dingwen has also been involved in supplying sensitive items to Pakistan’s weapons program,” the statement read.

“The recent determinations were the result of a periodic review of sanctionable activity as required by INKSNA. We have imposed two-year discretionary sanctions on the 13 individuals/entities identified in this report. The sanctions include restrictions on U.S. government procurement, U.S. government assistance, and exports,” it added.

Pompeo also claimed that the “imposition of these measures underscores that Iran’s missile program remains a significant proliferation concern. The imposition of sanctions against these foreign entities is consistent with our efforts to use all available measures to prevent Iran from advancing its missile capabilities.”

Over the past years, Iran has made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing military equipment and hardware despite sanctions and economic pressures on the country.

The Islamic Republic maintains that its military power poses no threat to other countries and is based on its military doctrine of deterrence.

The standoff between Iran and the U.S. began after Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal that Tehran sealed with world powers, and imposed the most severe sanctions ever on the Islamic Republic. 

In response to this move, on May 8, 2019, Iran announced that its “strategic patience” is over and started to gradually reduce its commitments to the JCPOA at bi-monthly intervals. At the time Iran announced if the European parties to the deal take concrete steps to shield Iran’s economy from the U.S. sanctions it will reverse its decision.

However, seeing no action by the Europeans, on January 5 Iran took the last and final step by removing all limits on its nuclear activities.

Iran’s moves are based on paragraph 36 of the JCPOA which “allows one side, under certain circumstances, to stop complying with the deal if the other side is out of compliance.”

Despite taking the last step, Iran has reminded the Europeans to fulfill their commitments in order to keep the deal alive.

Iran and the U.S. came close to war last month after Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s legendary commander in the fight against terrorism, was killed in an American drone strike. Soleimani’s Quds Force, the wing of the IRGC responsible for overseas operations, has led Iran’s fight against ISIS.


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