President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on 26 companies and individuals from around the world that are linked to Iran's recent test-firing of a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.
The US Treasury announced that 13 people and 12 companies have been added to its "Specially Designated Nationals" list, which keeps a tally of whose assets have been seized and blocked from doing business in (and with) the US.
Some of the people and companies facing sanctions are based in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and China. But all are tied to aiding Iran. The sanctions cover nuclear non-proliferation, counter terrorism, and the Balkans.
"As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice," said President Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday (1 February).
Flynn indicated that it wasn't just Iran's ballistic missile test that drew the ire of the Trump administration but a recent "attack against a Saudi naval vessel conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants." Flynn also cited "a series of incidents in the past six months," including warning shots that a US naval destroyer fired at an Iranian navy vessel that was aggressively sailing toward it.
"Iran is playing with fire – they don't appreciate how "kind" President Obama was to them. Not me!" President Trump wrote in a Tweet early Friday before the new sanctions were announced.
In 2015 President Barack Obama began listing sanctions on Iran that were imposed in response to its nuclear weapons development program. The two countries struck a deal with several others, including Russia and the UK, for Iran to cease its program.
The new sanctions show President Trump is not hesitant to slap fresh sanctions on Iran, which has said it sees any new sanctions as a backtrack on the nuclear deal.
Both Democrats and Republicans in the US called this week for the Trump administration to respond to Iran's ballistic missile test.
"Iranian leaders must feel sufficient pressure to cease deeply destabilizing activities," wrote the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's top Democrat and Republicans and a dozen other Congressmen in a letter to Trump early this week.