United States sanctions Iranian firms tied to missile program

The United States on Thursday placed sanctions on five subsidiaries of an Iranian industrial group that is considered key in the development and production of the country's ballistic missiles.

The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to meet late yesterday to discuss Iran, days after USA ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called for an emergency session to discuss the protests.

Separately, the U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday sanctioned five Iranian-based entities it said were owned or controlled by an industrial firm responsible for developing and producing Iran's solid-propellant ballistic missiles.

The Treasury Department said the five Iran-based entities are subordinate to a key element of Iran's ballistic missile program, and the US action targeted Iran's "destabilizing weapons systems".

The companies are Shahid Kharrazi Industries, Shahid Sanikhani Industries, Shahid Moghaddam Industries, Shahid Eslami Research Center and Shahid Shustari Industries.

She displayed one of the fragments from a missile fired by the rebels toward Saudi Arabia that she said bore the logo of SBIG. "As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC fund foreign militants, terrorist groups, and human rights abuses", said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

"This is a matter of fundamental human rights for the Iranian people, but it is also a matter of global peace and security", said Haley in a statement late on Thursday. Undeterred, Trump tweeted Wednesday, "You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!".

In addition, Trump must decide by January 15 whether to recertify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which he decided not to do in October.

Trump must decide by 15 January whether to recertify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers (which he decided not to do in October) and decide whether to waive USA nuclear-related sanctions.

Members of Congress have been working since then to come up with a bipartisan compromise that would give Mr Trump enough political cover not to reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil before a deadline next week, an action that would kill the pact.

Over the last few days, Trump has attacked Iran on Twitter, accusing the previous administration of funding terrorism by signing the landmark accord.

Under the new sanctions, any assets the firms hold in USA jurisdiction will be frozen and US citizens will be barred from doing business with the companies. The most significant impact, however, is that any worldwide bank doing business with the sanctioned firms can be heavily penalized because most global transactions are conducted at least partially in US dollars.

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