USA slaps sanctions on Iran entities after rocket launch

The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday hit Iran with new sanctions for its Thursday launch of a satellite-carrying rocket.

Iran's launch of a rocket carrying a satellite into space on Thursday, in apparent violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution, suffered a "catastrophic failure" shortly after takeoff, United States officials told Fox News on Friday. The Treasury Department said that group is "central" to Iran's ballistic missiles programme.

He noted that "every word" of the deal has been carefully negotiated, adding, "Iran does not develop missiles that are created to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons".

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"These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran's ballistic missile program, and underscore the United States' deep concerns with Iran's continued development and testing of ballistic missiles and other provocative behavior", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.

An Iranian rocket with a much-hyped Tehran space launch turned out to be a dud, as the Iranian Simorgh rocket suffered a "catastrophic failure" shortly after liftoff on Thursday and likely blew up before it reached space, two USA officials told Fox News.

The launch was the first from the newly dedicated Imam Khomeini Space Center.

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The Treasury move was announced just hours after the US Senate voted nearly unanimously to impose new sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea.

"The US government will continue to aggressively counter Irans ballistic missile-related activity, whether it be a provocative space launch, its development of threatening ballistic missile systems, or likely support to Yemeni Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia such as occurred this past weekend". Zarif contrasted that with the US, which he suggested was not complying with "the letter and spirit" of the deal. This is done despite the rocket clearly not being a nuclear missile, Iran have a nuclear deal which precludes them being able to make a missile, and despite claims the rocket doesn't even work.

"Iran is not and will not be developing nuclear weapons; so by definition can not develop anything created to be capable of delivering them", Zarif wrote on Twitter.

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