TRYING TO SCARE US? Iran Carries Out New Missile Tests After Trump Imposes Sanctions

The day after Trump imposed sanctions on the country, Iran carried out further missile tests. Are they flexing their muscles at us? Or is this just routine? Either way, we are sure Trump will respond appropriately.

Iran carried out further missile tests during an annual military exercise, a day after President Donald Trump imposed fresh sanctions on a raft of individuals and companies in response to the country test-firing a ballistic rocket last week.

The country successfully tested a range of land-to-land missiles and radar systems during the drills in a 35,000 square-kilometer stretch of desert in the northern Iranian province of Semnan, the semi-official Tasnim agency reported Saturday, citing Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ aerospace division.

“If the enemy falls out of line, our missiles will pour down on them,” the brigadier general was cited as telling reporters on the sidelines of the military trials, without referring to any particular nations. Any threats made by the U.S. against Iran were “nonsensical,” Tasnim cited him as saying.

The Treasury Department published a list Friday of 13 individuals and 12 entities facing new restrictions for supporting the missile program, having links to terrorism or providing support for Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The entities include companies based in Tehran, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and China.

In response, Iran “will take action against a number of American individuals and companies that have played a role in generating and supporting extremist terrorist groups in the region or have helped in the killing and suppression of defenseless people in the region,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement published by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. The targets of its sanctions will be named later, it said.

Harder Line

The Trump administration has sought to take a harder line on Iran, banning its citizens from entering the U.S. and accusing the nation of interfering in the affairs of U.S. allies in the Middle East. But the U.S. sanctions announced Friday were limited in scope, serving mostly as a warning signal.

“These are not major players,” Sam Cutler, a sanctions lawyer at Horizon Client Access in Washington, said of those on the list. “It seems to be a follow-up on a previous action that the Obama administration took in terms of identifying people in existing networks that had been previously sanctioned. I see this as consistent with prior policy rather than anything new, the rhetoric notwithstanding.”

The sanctions wouldn’t affect a deal signed between Boeing Co. and Iran’s national carrier in December, according to a Trump administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. The agreement to sell 80 planes is valued at $16.6 billion and is the first of its kind since 1979.

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