Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) violated their agreement with the UN when they test-fired several ballistic missiles earlier this month, leading the United States to respond with more sanctions for ongoing violations.
Iranian state television broadcasted a video of a Qiam-1 missile, a medium-range being fired from a hardened underground silo. The televised report stated that multiple missiles had been tested across the country, striking targets 700 kilometers away.
According to UN Security Council resolution 2231, any activity by Iran relating to ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons is strictly forbidden and liable to sanctions. The UN has not imposed sanctions in the past after Iranian missile tests. Even if the UN initiated a resolution against the tests, it is unlikely to pass the security council since Russia and China have both voiced their objections to restrictions on Iranian missile programs and would veto any such measures.
The missile launches also violate the agreement signed in July between Iran and the P5+1 powers that was endorsed and strongly supported by US President Barack Obama.
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s aerospace arm, was quoted in the IRGC’s website.
“Our main enemies are imposing new sanctions on Iran to weaken our missile capabilities … But they should know that the children of the Iranian nation in the Revolutionary Guards and other armed forces refuse to bow to their excessive demands.”
Last month, the US imposed sanctions on 11 companies involved in multiple missile launches. In response to the recent launches on March eighth and ninth, the US Treasury Department added sanctions to Shahid Nuri Industries and Shahid Movahed Industries, responsible for Iran’s liquid-fueled ballistic missile program. The companies are subsidiaries of Shahid Hemmat Industrial. Sanctions were also placed against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Al-Ghadir Missile Command.
The sanctions freeze any assets of the listed entity under American jurisdiction and ban any business with them by American companies or individuals.
Sanctions were also placed against two British companies owned by British businessmen Jeffrey John James Ashfield and John Edward Meadows and their companies : Aviation Capital Solutions and Aircraft, Avionics, Parts & Support. The companies have allegedly been acting as fronts for Iranian Mahan Air which was sanctioned in 2011 for transporting arms for the Revolutionary Guard to support Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
The Treasury also sanctioned two United Arab Emites based companies, Grandeur General Trading FZE and HSI Trading FZE, for allegedly aiding Mahan Air.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released a statement to the press concerning these sanctions. In it Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said, ““Iran’s ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism pose a continuing threat to the region, to the United States, and to our partners worldwide. We will continue to use all of our tools to counteract Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for terrorism, including through sanctions.”
Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has been urging world powers to act against Iran for violating agreements concerning its missile program.
According to Fars News, “One missile had a message written on it that said in Hebrew: ‘Israel should be wiped off the Earth.’”
The new sanctions were announced on the same day as an announcement by the Department of Justice against seven Iranian hackers who are accused of cyber-attacks against computer systems at American banks and a small dam north of New York on behalf of the Iranian government.