US hits Iran with fresh sanctions

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Washington

Donald Trump has said Iran is “playing with fire,” as the US on Friday slapped fresh sanctions on companies and individuals in a response to Tehran’s recent ballistic missile tests.
The US President tweeted on Thursday: “Iran is playing with fire — they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”
The first sanctions against Iran by the Trump administration targeted companies and individuals in Iran and China identified by the US as supporting Tehran’s ballistic missile programme and the Revolutionary Guards military force.
“Iran’s continued support for terrorism and development of its ballistic missile programme poses a threat to the region, to our partners worldwide, and to the United States,” said John Smith, acting director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The measures came after Iran on Sunday test-fired a medium range missile, which the White House contends violated a UN Security Council resolution proscribing missiles that could carry a nuclear device.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn declared he was “officially putting Iran on notice” over the launch.
The newest sanctions seek to lock those blacklisted out of global trade and finance by banning any American or US-based entities from doing business with them. They named three trading networks and individuals allegedly involved in supplying goods to Iran’s missile programme.
One against already-sanctioned Iranian businessman Abdollah Asgharzadeh involves several Chinese companies and suppliers, mainly the Cosailing Business Trading Company based in Qingdao.
Other groups named include the Rostanian network based in the Gulf region, and Lebanon-based Hasan Dehghan Ebrahimi, identified as a Revolutionary Guards official whose business the Treasury said launders money and goods for the Hezbollah militia group.—AP

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