US Sanctions 5 Entities Tied to Iran Missile Program

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The U.S. Treasury placed sanctions Thursday on five Iranian-based entities either owned or controlled by the company responsible for developing and producing Iran’s solid-propellant ballistic missiles.

These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The five sanctioned entities — all owned or controlled by Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group — are the Shahid Eslami Research Center, Shahid Kharrazi Industries, Shahid Moghaddam Industries, Shahid Sanikhani Industries and Shahid Shustari Industries, according to the U.S. Treasury statement.

Meanwhile Thursday, anti-government protests appeared to slow down in Iran while the United States vowed not to forget the 21 people killed in the week of demonstrations.

The U.S. State Department issued a new statement Thursday, condemning the deaths so far and the arrests of what it numbered as at least 1,000 Iranians.

“We have ample authorities to hold accountable those who commit violence against protesters, contribute to censorship, or steal from the people of Iran. To the regime’s victims, we say: You will not be forgotten,” the statement said.

And a White House official said the U.S. would look for “actionable information” to try to impose new sanctions against those responsible for the crackdown on dissent. Iranian officials arrested hundreds of protesters in the last week.

In Iran, General Abdolrahim Mousavin, the head of the army, thanked security forces for “putting out the fire of sedition.”

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said that across the nation 42,000 people had taken part in the protests.

State television on Thursday showed huge crowds in 10 cities marching in support of Iranian leaders, including in Isfahan, Ardebil and Mashhad, where the protests started.

An adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “The revolutionary Iranian people have responded in time to the enemies and trouble-makers by coming out on the streets.”

But the adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, told the semi-official ISNA news agency, “The people’s main demand now is for the government and officials to deal with the economic problems.”

Critics of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani say he has abandoned the poor by trying to raise fuel prices, which he said was necessary to fight unemployment. But parliament appears likely to reject his fuel price hike.

The U.S. Treasury placed sanctions Thursday on five Iranian-based entities either owned or controlled by the company responsible for developing and producing Iran’s solid-propellant ballistic missiles.

These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The five sanctioned entities — all owned or controlled by Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group — are the Shahid Eslami Research Center, Shahid Kharrazi Industries, Shahid Moghaddam Industries, Shahid Sanikhani Industries and Shahid Shustari Industries, according to the U.S. Treasury statement.

Meanwhile Thursday, anti-government protests appeared to slow down in Iran while the United States vowed not to forget the 21 people killed in the week of demonstrations.

The U.S. State Department issued a new statement Thursday, condemning the deaths so far and the arrests of what it numbered as at least 1,000 Iranians.

“We have ample authorities to hold accountable those who commit violence against protesters, contribute to censorship, or steal from the people of Iran. To the regime’s victims, we say: You will not be forgotten,” the statement said.

And a White House official said the U.S. would look for “actionable information” to try to impose new sanctions against those responsible for the crackdown on dissent. Iranian officials arrested hundreds of protesters in the last week.

In Iran, General Abdolrahim Mousavin, the head of the army, thanked security forces for “putting out the fire of sedition.”

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said that across the nation 42,000 people had taken part in the protests.

State television on Thursday showed huge crowds in 10 cities marching in support of Iranian leaders, including in Isfahan, Ardebil and Mashhad, where the protests started.

An adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “The revolutionary Iranian people have responded in time to the enemies and trouble-makers by coming out on the streets.”

But the adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, told the semi-official ISNA news agency, “The people’s main demand now is for the government and officials to deal with the economic problems.”

Critics of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani say he has abandoned the poor by trying to raise fuel prices, which he said was necessary to fight unemployment. But parliament appears likely to reject his fuel price hike.

Trump is faced next week with a decision on whether to continue to waive sanctions against Iran that were suspended under the 2015 international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons development. Trump has repeatedly attacked the agreement and assailed Tehran’s military actions in Syria, Iran and Yemen.

Top Iranian leaders, including Khamenei, have blamed foreign governments for driving the protests.

Iran’s U.N. ambassador, Gholamali Khoshroo, sent a letter Wednesday to the U.N. Security Council and U.N. chief Antonio Guterres saying that in “numerous absurd tweets” Trump and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence were “inciting Iranians to engage in disruptive acts.”

“The current U.S. administration has crossed every limit in flouting rules and principles of international law governing the civilized conduct of international relations,” Khoshroo wrote.

The U.S. delegation has asked the Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the protests, but so far none has been scheduled.

Meanwhile, Pence, in an interview with VOA, cited what he called Trump’s “unapologetic willingness” to back the protesters.

“I know it is giving hope to the people on the streets of those cities across that country and we’re going to continue to support them in not just verbally, but as they bring about change in their country, I can assure you the United States and the wider world stands with the people of Iran who want a better and more prosperous and freer future,” he said.

Germany, which along with the United States and four other world powers reached an agreement in 2015 with Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, expressed concern about the situation in Iran, while saying people must be given a chance to peacefully protest.

“The right to free speech must be upheld,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. “We strongly advise against the use of this inner-Iranian conflict — which has its background partly in the economy, partly in politics, which we can understand — to use this conflict internationally.”

The U.S. delegation has asked the Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the protests, but so far none has been scheduled.

Meanwhile, Pence, in an interview with VOA, cited what he called Trump’s “unapologetic willingness” to back the protesters.

“I know it is giving hope to the people on the streets of those cities across that country and we’re going to continue to support them in not just verbally, but as they bring about change in their country, I can assure you the United States and the wider world stands with the people of Iran who want a better and more prosperous and freer future,” he said.

Germany, which along with the United States and four other world powers reached an agreement in 2015 with Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, expressed concern about the situation in Iran, while saying people must be given a chance to peacefully protest.

“The right to free speech must be upheld,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said. “We strongly advise against the use of this inner-Iranian conflict — which has its background partly in the economy, partly in politics, which we can understand — to use this conflict internationally.”

Source: Voice of America