Tehran retaliates to US sanctions, bans 15 US companies

Following the new sanctions announced by Washington, on Friday, against companies and individuals believed to have helped in the transfer of “sensitive items” in support of Iran’s ballistic missile program, Tehran reacted on Sunday by imposing sanctions on 15 US companies.

Iran accuses the 15 firms of “blatant violation of human rights and international humanitarian rights.” It also accuses them of supporting Tel Aviv’s “terrorist activities and Israel’s development of Zionist settlements on Palestinian soil.”

Iran rejected the latest US sanctions on the basis that the move was prompted by “fabricated and illegitimate pretexts” and in contradiction with the nuclear agreement reached in July 2015 with the so-called P5+1. It also argued that its missile defense program is aimed at safeguarding the country’s “right to defend itself against any foreign aggression and build up its deterrence power against threats” without going into details.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry stressed that it will not accept “restrictions imposed against its efforts to protect its dignity, territorial integrity and security of the people.”

Washington stated that the sanctions are in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 2231, which prohibits the Middle Eastern country from associating itself from any activity linked to the development of a ballistic missile that could deliver a nuclear warhead. The US sanctions targeted 11 companies or individuals from China, North Korea or the United Arab Emirates.

The Iranian sanctions are symbolic because none of the 15 concerned companies operate in the country. However, officials working under the companies will not be allowed entry to Iran. The list, according to the Iranian authorities, is not exhaustive and could be increased if deemed necessary.

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