WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- The U.S. Treasury has announced new sanctions against individuals and corporate entities in Iran and China for allegedly assisting Iran’s ballistic missile program.
In a statement, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it has "designated two senior Iranian defense officials, including a defense official who facilitated the sale of explosives and provided other support to Syria and the director of the organization responsible for Iran’s solid-fueled ballistic missile program” as targets for sanctions.
Those officials are Morteza Farasatpour, a senior Iranian defense official, and Rahim Ahmadi, a senior official with Iran’s Shahid Bakeri Industries Group (SBIG).
Also designated for sanctions were a Chinese national and three Chinese companies.
Finally, Iran-based Matin Sanat Nik Andishan, a company that has provided materials useful to Iran’s liquid-fueled ballistic missile program, was listed for sanctions.
Even as the new sanctions were announced, the Trump administration "notified Congress that it’s continuing to waive sanctions, including restrictions on oil sales, that were eased under the 2015 deal between world powers and Iran based on an April finding that "Iran is complying with its side of the deal.”
Iran promptly attacked the new sanctions as a violation of the nuclear deal, calling the measures "unacceptable and contrary to the tenets of the international law.”
"Iran condemns the U.S. administration’s ill will in its effort to reduce the positive results of the country’s implementation of JCPOA commitments by adding individuals to the list of unilateral and illegal extraterritorial sanctions,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in a statement.
Qassemi said Iran had added "nine U.S. individuals and corporations” to its list of sanctions for their "confirmed role in blatant human rights violations.”
The banned U.S. firms and individuals have directly and indirectly cooperated with Israel in its "crimes against humanity in the occupied Palestinian territories” or in the occupying regime’s "terrorist acts,” according to the statement.
They have also supported Takfiri terrorism and crackdown on the popular movements in the Middle East or have had effective participation in actions against Iran’s national security, it added.
The statement further said an updated version of the blacklist would be released after going through legal proceedings and being approved by relevant officials.
Reaction to the new U.S. sanctions, Defense Minister Hussein Dehqan said Iran will spare no effort in meeting its national security needs, and will not allow any party to intervene in the imperative.
Dehqan said this was not the first time that Washington displays its enmity towards Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Islamic establishment and capabilities.
The sanctions were the second of their kind since U.S. President Donald Trump came to power in January.
Dehqan said Iran’s missile activities are obvious. "We do what we consider to be in our best interest.”
China also lodged a complaint with the United States. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing followed local rules and regulations and closely adhered to its responsibilities to the international community.
Beijing "is opposed to the blind use of unilateral sanctions particularly when it damages the interests of third parties. I think the sanctions are unhelpful in enhancing mutual trust and unhelpful for international efforts on this issue," she said.