Following Israel-Hamas war, and despite Iran denied any role in the war between the two sides, US announced this Wednesday more sanctions on Iran’s missile and drone programs.
This Wednesday morning, the US announced imposing more sanctions on people and entities involved in the development of Iran’s missile and drone programs. The reason for the new sanctions, as US officials familiar with the matter noted, is that Washington believes Iran was behind Hamas attacks on Israel that happened last Saturday.
With no evidence to prove that Iran has had any role in the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel, the US Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement that “Iran’s reckless choice to continue its proliferation of destructive UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and other weapons prolongs numerous conflicts in regions around the world.”
A few hours earlier the same day, EU officials also had said that the bloc was determined to keep sanctions on Iran beyond the deadline of a landmark nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The deal was signed between Iran and the world powers in 2015 to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran.
However, the US violated the deal as well as the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 by unilaterally pulling out of it in 2018. While deciding to stay in the agreement with Iran, EU countries party to the deal announced last month that they won’t abide by the JCPOA in lifting Iran’s missile and drone sanctions because of what they called, “Iran’s violation of the JCPOA by increasing its uranium resorts above the limits set out in the deal.”
US Treasury gave more details of the new sanctions
The Treasury Department further said on Wednesday that it was sanctioning 11 individuals, eight entities and one vessel. The people targeted have “materially supported” Iran in the production and proliferation of missiles and drones, the Treasury added.
“The resolution was based on an assumption that Iran would move to restore confidence in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. This has not happened, and in this context, it is imperative that all States continue to take steps to counter Iran ‘s destabilizing ballistic missile-related activities,” the statement said.
Echoing the same rhetoric against Tehran, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that the Biden administration has reaffirmed its “commitment to utilize every tool at our disposal to counter Iran’s development, procurement, and proliferation of missiles, UAVs, and other dangerous weapons.”
“The United States and its partners will continue raising concerns at the United Nations and demand that Iran be held accountable for the destabilizing impacts of its proliferation,” he added.
Iran hits back by urging Arab states to sanction US number-one ally
Siding Palestinians, Iran hit back at the US by demanding members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to impose an oil embargo and other sanctions on Israel and expel all Israeli ambassadors over a deadly strike on al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza that took place this Tuesday and led to the killing of more than 500 Palestinians.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran calls for an immediate and complete embargo on Israel by Islamic countries, including oil sanctions, in addition to expelling Israeli ambassadors if relations with the Zionist regime have been established,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
The Ministry also called upon the countries to form a team of Islamic lawyers to document potential war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza.