U.S. expected to impose fresh sanctions on Iranian entities

The United States is expected to impose sanctions on multiple Iranian entities as early as Friday following Tehran’s recent ballistic missile test, but in a way that will not violate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

One source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said about eight Iranian entities were to be sanctioned, or “designated” in U.S. legal jargon, for terrorism-related activities and about 17 for ballistic missile-related activities under separate existing U.S. executive orders. The source declined to name the entities.

Trump says ‘nothing off the table’ on Iran, as Republicans plan action

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that “nothing is off the table” in dealing with Iran following its test launch of a ballistic missile, and his fellow Republicans in Congress said they would back him up with new sanctions.

Trump comment was in response to a question about whether he would consider military options to respond to Tehran, a day after his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, put Iran “on notice.”

iranmissile_small1 U.S. expected to impose fresh sanctions on Iranian entities Middle East

It was not clear what Trump meant. Every recent U.S. president, including Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, has said that U.S. military options were not off the table to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House of Representatives, said the United States should stop “appeasing” Tehran.

“I would be in favor of additional sanctions on Iran,” Ryan told reporters at a weekly news conference. “I’d like to put as much toothpaste back in the tube as possible. I think the last administration appeased Iran far too much.”

Like every Republican in Congress, Ryan opposed the nuclear agreement with Iran that went into effect early last year. But Republican lawmakers said they were working with the Trump administration to push back on Iran as much as possible without risking the international uncertainty that would come with tearing up the pact.

“Now we have a partner that’s willing to deal with Iran in the way that Iran should be dealt with. … And so we’re in a real different ball game,” Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Reuters.

Corker said his committee was “in the early stages” of working on legislation related to the nuclear issue.