ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Iran announces ‘reciprocal action’ to US sanctions

Iran last Sunday test-fired a medium range missile, which the White House contends violates a UN Security Council resolution

In this Dec. 29, 2016 file photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran. (Amir Kholousi, ISNA via AP, File)
In this Dec. 29, 2016 file photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran. (Amir Kholousi, ISNA via AP, File)

TEHRAN — Iran announced it will take “reciprocal action” against US individuals and companies after President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday imposed new sanctions on Tehran over its weapons procurement network.

“In response to the new move by the United States of America and as a reciprocal action, (Iran) will impose legal limitations for some American individuals and companies that have had a role in the creation and support of extreme terrorist groups in the region,” the foreign ministry said.

“The names of these individuals and companies will be announced later,” it said in a statement.

“Missile development and capabilities of the country, which is merely designed for defensive objectives and carrying conventional weapons and that will never be used except for legitimate defense, is the right of the people of Iran based on international law and the UN charter,” the ministry said.

The fresh US measures were in response to Iran’s latest ballistic missile test and its support for Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen who in the past week targeted a Saudi warship, US officials said.

The additional US sanctions list three trading networks and individuals allegedly involved in supplying Iran’s missile program.

Iran last Sunday test-fired a medium range missile, which the White House contends violated a UN Security Council resolution proscribing missiles that could carry a nuclear device.

The Islamic republic has confirmed it tested a ballistic missile but denied it was a breach of a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers or UN resolutions.

“The action was in line with boosting Iran’s defense power and is not in contradiction with the JCPOA (the nuclear deal) or (Security Council) Resolution 2231,” said Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan.

Tehran says its missiles do not breach UN resolutions because they are for defense purposes only and are not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Iran, which accuses Washington and Arab allies in the Gulf of supporting radical Sunni Islamists in the Syrian conflict, has missiles with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), enough to reach Israel and US bases in the region.

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