by Itunuoluwa Adebo
Iran said on Thursday that the new U.S sanctions targeting it’s ballistic missile program show “ill will” and are likely to undermine the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned two senior Iranian defense officials, Chinese man and three Chinese firms and an Iranian company, for supporting nuclear missile development in Iran. However, Washington also separately extended wider sanctions relief for Iran called for under the nuclear accord.
Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying.”Iran condemns United State’s unacceptable ill will in its effort to undermine the positive outcome of Tehran’s commitment to implement the nuclear deal by adding individuals to its list of unilateral and illegal sanctions.”
Iran’s presidential election is on Friday, the election in which incumbent President Hassan Rouhani will be running for a second term against challengers who say he has not delivered economic recovery as he promised with the nuclear pact. Pres. Rouhani’s main rival Ebrahim Raisi, an ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has criticized Rouhani’s conciliatory approach to the West and the sluggishness of the economy continued despite the lifting of global sanctions.
The sanctions imposed over Iran’s record on human rights, terrorism and ballistic missiles has scared valuable foreign investors seen as indispensable to reviving the economy.
Qasemi, said Iran’s ballistic missile program was not a breach of the nuclear deal. “Iran will continue its missile program forcefully…as planned,” he said. In a retaliation move, Iran added nine Americans and companies to its own list of 15 U.S. companies for human rights violations and cooperation with Israel.