The Obama administration is preparing to target nearly a dozen companies and individuals in Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong for their suspected role in helping develop Iran's missile program and supporting human-rights abuses and international terrorism, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing US officials.
The new actions would be the first US sanctions imposed on Iran since the historic nuclear deal in July.
According to The WSJ, the White House was recently warned by Iranian officials that new sanctions would be considered by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a violation of the brokered nuclear agreement.
iran kerry Zarif
Kerry shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The US, however, maintains that the US Treasury Department retains the right to blacklist Iranian entities despite the July agreement, arguing that areas of missile development, terrorism, and human rights are separate from the nuclear deal.
Furthermore, a UN Security Council panel ruled this month that Iran violated paragraph nine of Security Council resolution 1929 by test-firing an Emad rocket on October 10.
Under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran must scale back its nuclear facilities as well as export almost all of its low-enriched uranium in exchange for the lifting of international financial sanctions.
According to The WSJ report, the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control will administer sanctions to the following:
Hossein Pournaghshband and his UAE-based company Mabrooka Trading for "allegedly aiding Iranian state companies in acquiring carbon fiber for Iran's missile program."
Hong Kong-based Anhui Land Group, for acquiring materials and financing a carbon-fiber production line. Carbon fiber is a key component for missile development.
Five Iranian officials from the Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics and subsidiaries for "allegedly working on the ballistic-missile program."
Sayyed Javad Musavi, the commercial director of Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group.
uss harry s. truman
Flickr/US Navy Photo
The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.
On Monday, Tehran shipped more than 25,000 pounds of low-enriched uranium materials to Russia, a step toward reducing its stockpile to less than 660 pounds ? as agreed to in the July deal.
Earlier this month, the US called Iran's live-fire training exercise "highly provocative" when several Iranian rockets were fired near American aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Strait of Hormuz.
One rocket came within 1,500 yards of the aircraft carrier, according to the US military.
The incident occurred on Saturday at approximately 11:25 a.m., 23 minutes after the Iranian navy announced the drill in the area, Reuters reports.
According to an NBC report, multiple rockets were fired, but not directly at the US aircraft carrier.