US Treasury sanctions Iranian companies after 'provocative' satellite launch

Resolution 2231 (2015) provides for the termination of the provisions of previous Security Council resolutions on the Iranian nuclear program, and calls on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles created to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.

"These sanctions target key entities involved in Irans ballistic missile program, and underscore the U.S. deep concerns with Irans continued development and testing of ballistic missiles and other provocative behaviour", said Treasury Secretary Steven T Mnuchin.

The sanctions target six Iranian subsidiaries of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group.

Treasury said space launch vehicles use technologies that are closely related to those of an intercontinental ballistic missile and this launch represents a threatening step by Iran.

On Thursday, U.S. Strategic Command, which monitors launches around the world, could only confirm a satellite was not deployed from the rocket.

"Politicians, parties and various groups should spend their time to serve the people through more unity and integrity and stand against the US sanctions", he said in a conference in northeastern city of Gonabad.

The US military is saying it has not detected a new satellite in orbit in the wake of the Iranian space launch. Zarif contrasted that with the USA, which he suggested was not complying with "the letter and spirit" of the deal.

Iran's Imam Khomeini Space Center on Thursday successfully launched its domestically-manufactured Simorgh carrier, whose mission is to put Iranian satellites into the orbit.

He added that the U.S. rhetoric and actions, however, show its "bad faith".

He also rejected the notion that Iran was working to develop missiles that could carry a nuclear warhead.

"Iran is not, and will not be, developing nuclear weapons; so by definition can not develop anything created to be capable of delivering them", Zarif said on Twitter. Since past launches of the same system failed rather publicly, it would be odd for Iran to try to pass this one off as a success if it wasn't, and stranger still for only the US Strategic Command to be able to notice a failure, and for literally no one to see the putative explosion.


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