United States sanctions Iranian companies after satellite launch

Iran Successfully Launched into Low Orbit Satellite Carrier Rocket

The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday hit Iran with new sanctions for its Thursday launch of a satellite-carrying rocket.

The Treasury Department placed sanctions Friday on six Iran-based satellite companies following a recent Iranian rocket launch that State Department officials warn breached a UN Security Council resolution.

"These sanctions target key entities involved in Irans ballistic missile program, and underscore the United States deep concerns with Irans continued development and testing of ballistic missiles and other provocative behaviour", said Treasury Secretary Steven T Mnuchin.

'The US government will continue to aggressively counter Iran´s ballistic missile-related activity, whether it be a provocative space launch. or likely support to Yemeni Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia such as occurred this past weekend, ' Mnuchin said.

Sanctions were introduced against Iran for its missile program, alleged human rights abuses and what the USA claims Iran's "destabilizing" role in the Middle East.

The six Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group subsidiaries the ageny called "central" to the Iranian missile program, are responsible for a range of components to Iran's ballistic missile program, including the development of structural components, liquid-propellant, missile engines, guidance systems, research and ground control systems.

This comes just two days after a U.S. Navy warship fired warning shots at an Iranian patrol boat in the Persian Gulf.

The US has said that launch flouted a UN Security Council resolution because the technology is inherently created to be able to carry a nuclear payload.

Iran said it successfully tested the Simorgh (Phoenix) rocket which it said could put a satellite weighing up to 250 kg (550 pounds) in an orbit of 500 km (311 miles).

YouTube: A Simorgh rocket was launched from the Imam Khomeini National Space Center, Iran, on 27 July 2017.

"We would consider that a violation of UNSCR 2231", Nauert said at a briefing with reporters when asked about the launch.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Friday denied Tehran had missiles created to carry nuclear warheads.

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