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US State Department preparing for new Iran sanctions: Kirby

The United States is preparing to impose fresh sanctions on Iran over the country’s missile program.

The State Department said on Tuesday that it was conferring with other US agencies about imposing sanctions on Tehran for a recent ballistic missile test.

“We are fully prepared to use sanctions with respect to this most recent ballistic missile test (and) are still working through some technical issues there,” spokesman John Kirby said, according to Reuters.

“There continues to be a robust inter-agency discussion about moving forward on sanctions,” he added.

Kirby was responding to reports that the State Department delayed imposing sanctions because of Iran’s objections.

“We don’t take sanctions advice or guidance from Iran or any other country,” he said.

On October 11, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) successfully test-fired its first guided ballistic missile dubbed Emad.

Washington slammed the test, claiming the projectile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. It vowed to respond with fresh sanctions.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said the Emad missile was a conventional weapon.

The Iranian media on Tuesday aired footage of an underground missile facility of the IRGC packed with Emad missiles.

Iran’s Majlis speaker Ali Larijani shakes hands with IRGC officers on Tuesday, January 5, 2015.

The decision last week to postpone imposing sanctions angered members of Congress, including supporters of the nuclear agreement with Iran. They argued that such a move would undermine the US ability to implement the July 14, 2015 nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The abrupt reversal by the White House came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the accelerated production of missiles in response to reports of possible new sanctions.

Senior US officials told Congress that the delay was because of “evolving diplomatic work” between Washington and Tehran.

On July 20, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2231, which prohibits Iran from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads.”

Iranian officials say none of the country’s missiles, including ballistic ones, have been “designed to carry nuclear warheads,” and thus their production and test are not in contravention of Resolution 2231.

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