US imposes new ballistic missile sanctions on Iran

PTIUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 04:40 AM IST
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New York : The United States on Friday imposed new sanctions on six Iranian companies, which it said are central to the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program, a day after Iran successfully launched a rocket-borne satellite into space.

The economic penalties are “in response to Iran’s continued provocative actions, such as yesterday’s launch of the Simorgh space launch vehicle”, the Treasury Department said.

The six Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group subsidiaries the agency called “central” to the Iranian missile program, are responsible for a range of components to Iran’s ballistic missile program, including the development of structural components, liquid-propellant, missile engines, guidance systems, research and ground control systems.

“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,” Fox News quoted Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin as saying.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions illustrate deep U.S. concerns about Iran’s missile testing and other actions. He said the U.S. would continue countering Iran’s ballistic missile program – including Thursday’s “provocative space launch.”

The new sanctions i.e. the blacklisting of the companies come amid President Donald Trump administration’s continued deliberations on scrapping the 2015 accord with Iran and international powers over its nuclear program. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly verified Iran is in compliance with the agreement but the Trump administration has maintained Tehran is in violation of its “spirit”.

UK radio station shut down over Al Qaeda broadcasts Sheffield-based Iman FM was found in breach of broadcast norms by the UK’s Office of Communications (Ofcom) for airing the lectures titled ‘The Life of Mohammed’ by the America-born radical cleric during the holy month of Ramazan between May 26 and June 16

London : A minority community radio station in the UK has lost its licence for broadcasting 25 hours of lectures by Al Qaeda recruiter Alman al-Awlaki.

Sheffield-based Iman FM was found in breach of broadcast norms by the UK’s Office of Communications (Ofcom) for airing the lectures titled ‘The Life of Mohammed’ by the America-born radical cleric during the holy month of Ramazan between May 26 and June 16.

The station claimed that it was unaware of the background of the preacher, who was killed by a US drone strike in Yemen in 2011. “Ofcom has decided that it is necessary in the public interest to revoke the licensee’s Broadcasting Act licence, and that the licensee is unfit to hold a broadcast licence. The service has been off-air since July 4 and will not be reinstated,” said an Ofcom spokesperson.

The media regulator’s investigation found that Al Awlaki’s lectures included “a direct call to action to members of the minority community to prepare for and carry out violent action against non-minority people” and “statements clearly condoning and encouraging acts of crime, terrorism or violent behaviour”.

The watchdog said the content, including calls for “virtuous jihad” and anti-Semitic statements, was in “serious breach” of the broadcasting code amounting to hate speech, justifying terrorism, inciting violence and encouraging crime.

The station, run by Iman Media UK which has been on air since October 2014, was suspended following complaints on July 4 and has had its licence revoked this week after representations from the owners failed to save keep it on air.

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