Iran says new US sanctions on missile work show 'ill will'

Hua Chunying spokeswoman of China's Foreign Ministry gestures at a regular news conference in Beijing

Hua Chunying spokeswoman of China's Foreign Ministry gestures at a regular news conference in Beijing

Nevertheless, he added, the Treasury will apply new targeted sanctions on individuals and firms helping Iran's banned ballistic missile program and to hold Tehran to account for rights abuses.

Lawrence Ward, a partner at worldwide law firm Dorsey & Whitney, said that the announcement by the State Department to continue the U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal is quite significant.

Jones said the U.S.is still forming a "comprehensive Iran policy, " alluding to President Donald Trump's assertion that he may tear up the deal after he finishes reviewing it. However, Washington also separately extended wider sanctions relief for Iran called for under the nuclear accord.

Trump has repeatedly denounced the agreement, which was signed in July 2015 by Iran and six major powers - the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

Stuart Jones, the top US diplomat in charge of the Middle East, said the U.S.is still forming a "comprehensive Iran policy" that addresses Iran's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and militant groups in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

Iran said on Thursday that new US sanctions targeting its ballistic missile program show Washington's "ill will" and could undermine the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, state television reported.

The waiver Wednesday of sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program has been expected since last month, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Iran to be in compliance with the 2015 agreement that relieves sanctions in exchange for rollbacks in Iran's nuclear program.

The dual moves - ensuring old sanctions on Iran don't return while imposing new ones - appeared aimed at undercutting the impression that Trump's stance on Iran has softened. Since taking office, Trump's administration has sanctioned hundreds in Iran and in Syria - an Iranian ally - as part of a campaign to increase pressure on Iran even as it reviews the nuclear deal.

The group's Council of Advisors includes Kerry, one of the chief negotiators of the Iran deal; Antony Blinken, the former deputy secretary of state; Nick Burns, the former undersecretary of state for political affairs; Puneet Talwar, the former assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, and Jen Psaki, former White House communications director.

The sanctions were announced two days before Trump heads to the Middle East on his first foreign trip. The U.S. said his network helped produce electronics such as missile guidance for Iran's program. "And they were also at the table and they still support the deal".

"Iran will continue its missile program forcefully...as planned", he said. Iran is buying 20 of the ATR 72-600 planes.

On Friday, Iranian voters will decide whether to give a second four-year term to incumbent Hassan Rouhani, whose negotiation on the nuclear deal was supposed to put him on a glide path to re-election.

Under the terms of the 2015 deal, the previous U.S. administration of president Barack Obama agreed to waive sanctions on Iran's nuclear program in return for strict controls to prevent its developing a nuclear bomb.

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