The Treasury Department placed new sanctions Friday on Iran, the first move by the Trump administration in response to a ballistic missile test that led the White House to announce it was putting Iran “on notice.”
The sanctions were imposed on 25 people and entities involved in helping develop Iran’s ballistic missile program, or assisting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force in supporting groups that the United States considers terrorist, such as Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah militant group. The administration said the sanctions are not a breach of U.S. commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, that was negotiated by Iran and six world powers, including the United States.
Many Iranians who dreamt of quiet, comfortable lives after a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015 are starting to worry for the first time in decades they might be bombed in their own homes.
Since taking office last month, U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Sunday that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.
“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years. While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region. The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”
A ballistic Missile launched in Iran, March 9, 2016
U.S. President Donald Trump is poised to impose new sanctions on multiple Iranian entities, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Tehran while crafting a broader strategy to counter what he sees as its destabilizing behavior, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
In the first tangible action against Iran since Trump took office on Jan. 20, the administration, on the same day he insisted that “nothing is off the table,” prepared to roll out new measures against more than two dozen Iranian targets, the sources said. The announcement is expected as early as Friday, they added.
The Trump administration issued a stern yet ambiguous warning to Iran on Wednesday for testing ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and after Iran-supported Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi naval vessel. Taking the podium at a White House press briefing, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn read a statement that declared the United States was “officially putting Iran on notice.”
Asked to clarify exactly what that meant, White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not give a detailed explanation, but told reporters the US wanted to send a message that Tehran could not engage in these activities without eliciting an American response.
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan with British Prime Minister Theresa May
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday said she and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were deepening their defense links, amid criticism at home that she is putting trade ahead of concerns about the rule of law in Turkey.
Mrs. May said the U.K. and Turkey had agreed to a £100 million ($125.5 million) defense deal that would see British weapons maker BAE Systems PLC help design Turkish jets. The agreement will pave the way for the U.K. to provide future engines, weapons radars and sensors to Turkey, Downing Street said.
President Trump at the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat in Philadelphia
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump have been talking each other up plenty since the latter’s election upset in November. But those expecting Trump to turn his kind words and pledges on Israel into fast action may have to be patient.
The starkest example of Trump walking back concrete promises is his retreat from what he had indicated during the transition period would be an accelerated push to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Jews at UK universities are “bullied [and] stigmatized…under the guise that criticism of Israel is not antisemitism,” a reformed Islamist said on his popular British radio program Sunday.
Speaking on LBC talk radio, Maajid Nawaz — who now works to counter Islamic extremism through the Quilliam Foundation — slammed student activists who are supposedly pro-Palestinian for becoming “nasty” and “picking on minorities that have a history in Europe that we should be learning from,” a reference to the Jews’ long history of persecution on the continent.