The US Treasury Department brought sanctions against six Iranian companies on Friday for launching a rocket into orbit in direct contravention to resolutions made by the UN Security Council limiting Iran’s missile program. The companies are owned by the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, an entity central to Iran’s ballistic missile program. Britain, Germany, and France joined in the sanctions.
On Thursday, Iranian television announced that the government successfully tested their most advanced rocket, the ‘Simorgh’, that could lift a payload or satellite weighing 550 pounds into orbit. This type of rocket could also be part of a ballistic missile program. The US military announced that it has not detected any new satellites in orbit around the earth.
At the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Iran was “breaking its obligation” and added, “We can’t trust them.”
“Under this administration, the United States will not let Iran off the hook for behavior that threatens our interests and our allies,” Haley said. “We will continue to impose consequences until Iran stops its provocations and complies fully with Security Council resolutions.”
Iranian state television reported that their government held an emergency meeting for the parliamentary committee on national security. The report stated that senior Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi announced, “A strong answer will be given to the action by the US.”
“We will continue with full power our missile program,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told state broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). “We consider the action by the US as hostile, reprehensible and unacceptable, and it’s ultimately an effort to weaken the nuclear deal.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter, “Iran is not and will not be developing nuclear weapons; so by definition cannot develop anything designed to be capable of delivering them.”
The sanctions bill also targets Russia and North Korea. It was passed by the US Senate on Thursday. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Friday that Trump will sign the bill into law.