The United States punished the Iranian regime on Friday for it launch this week of a satellite-carrying rocket into space by hitting six Iranian entities with sanctions targeting the regime’s ballistic missiles program.

The sanctions hit six Iranian subsidiaries of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, described by the U.S. Treasury Department as “central” to Tehran’s ballistic missiles program. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin cast the sanctions as part of an ongoing U.S. effort to aggressively oppose the Iranian regime’s ballistic missile activity, including what he called a “provocative space launch” carried out by Iran’s regime on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

“These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, and underscore the United States’ deep concerns with Iran’s continued development and testing of ballistic missiles and other provocative behavior,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin also said that missile attacks on U.S. partner Saudi Arabia over the weekend by Houthi rebels in Yemen had likely come with the support of Iran’s regime. The U.S. has long accused Tehran of shipping weapons to the Houthis.

The sanctions come a day after Iran’s regime claimed to have successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket into space. The “Simorgh” rocket is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 550 pounds (250 kilograms), Iranian state television said.

Despite the fact it carried a satellite into space, the U.S. has argued the launch was tantamount to a ballistic missile launch because that type of long-range missile technology is inherently designed to be able to carry a nuclear payload, the AP report added. To that end, the State Department has said the launch violated the spirit of the nuclear deal and also flouted a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls on Iran’s regime not to conduct such tests.

The six entities being sanctioned contribute to Tehran’s liquid propellant ballistic missiles, the Treasury Department said, including development and manufacturing of engines, launchers, guide-and-control systems and ground support as well as the liquid propellant itself. The sanctions freeze any assets the entities may have in the U.S. and prohibit Americans from doing business with them.

Source » ncr-iran