Feb 6, 2017
Following recent provocative actions by the Iranian government, the United States Treasury Department has sanctioned individuals and entities involved in Iran's support for terrorism and ballistic missile development. These sanctions are in keeping with a pledge by U.S. officials to work positively with Iran when it abides by international norms, while underscoring our commitment to counter its destabilizing activities, including support for terrorist and militant groups.
On January 29, Iran again tested a ballistic missile in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. On January 30, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi ship off the coast of Yemen, resulting in the deaths of at least two Saudi sailors.
At a White House press briefing, U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn said, “The Iranian actions, involving a provocative ballistic missile launch and an attack against Saudi naval vessels conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants, underscore what should have been clear to the international community all along about Iran's destabilizing behavior across the entire Middle East.”
Mr. Flynn pointed out that U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”
“These are just the latest of a serious of incidents in the past six month in which Houthi forces that Iran has trained and armed have struck Emirati and Saudi vessels and threatened United States' and allied vessels transiting the Red Sea. In these and other similar activities, Iran continues to threaten U.S. friends and allies in the region.”
On February 3, the U.S announced sanctions against 25 individuals and entities that provide support to Iran's ballistic missile program and to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force. These sanctions are being taken separately from the JCPOA, which was intended to address Iran's nuclear program — not concerns with Iran's support for terrorism or its ballistic missile program which are the reasons for the most recent designations.
In a statement, National Security Advisor Flynn said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and engages in and supports violent activities that destabilize the Middle East... These sanctions target these behaviors,” he said. “The days of turning a blind eye to Iran's hostile and belligerent actions toward the United States and the world community are over.”