The United States imposed new sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program on Thursday, which the Islamic Republic of Iran said was meant to maintain “maximum pressure” on the country.
Wednesday brought a new round of sanctions against Iran’s ballistic missile program, just weeks after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed responsibility for a missile strike in Erbil.
The IRGC’s ballistic missile research and development division as well as Parchin Chemical Industries (PCI), an Iranian Defense Industries Organization component, and an intermediary involved in missile part procurement, were the targets of the new sanctions, according to the US Department of Treasury.
A statement from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Iran’s missile activities “continue to destabilize the Middle East region,” and that the United States would use “every tool at its disposal” to disrupt them.
After the sanctions were imposed, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh stated that they “prove the US government’s malice” towards the people of Iran.
US officials, Khatibzadeh said, “continue to violate the deal and UN Security Council Resolution 2231” despite their claims to be ready to implement the Iran nuclear agreement.
The new sanctions were imposed as the marathon negotiations to save the 2015 nuclear accord entered their final stages.
The West is worried about Iran’s missile program, which it has declared “non-negotiable” in the talks that have been going on since April of last year.
Iran has made steady progress in recent years in developing high-precision ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and a variety of drones.
Third-generation Khyber Shikan missile was unveiled by Iran last month, a 1,450-kilometer-range missile powered by “solid fuel” and capable of evading a missile shield.