Obama To Hit New "Friend" Iran With Fresh Sanctions Over Contested Ballistic-Missile Program

Tyler Durden's picture


Spot what’s wrong with the following sentence: “The Obama administration is preparing to impose its first financial sanctions on Iran since it forged a landmark nuclear agreement in July.”

That’s from WSJ and it underscores how truly absurd the relationship between Washington and Tehran has become. Just as the US is preparing to lift crippling international sanctions against Iran in connection with the country’s nuclear program, The White House is set to slap new sanctions on the country to punish the Iranians for advances in ballistic-missile development.

You might recall that back in October, Tehran test-fired the Emad, a new generation, precision-guided, surface-to-surface ballistic missile with the capability of hitting arch enemy Israel. According to The Center for Strategic and International Studies, the liquid-propelled Shahab-3 variant has a range of 1,700 kilometers, is accurate to within 500 meters of the target, and can carry a 750-kilogram payload. For those who might have missed it, here’s the test-fire:

As we wrote at the time, Iran simply doesn't seem to care how Washington feels when it comes to the development of what Tehran calls “defensive” weapons. If you read between the lines, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan essentially said in October that Iran will continue to exploit any and all ambiguities in the nuclear deal to its advantage up to and including building new ballistic missile systems, an act which certainly goes against the spirit of the deal if not the letter. 

And while the launch of the Emad may not have violated the letter of the “historic” nuclear accord, it did, apparently, violate paragraph 9 of Security Council resolution 1929 (see here). As Reuters notes, “a team of U.N. sanctions monitors said in a confidential report that a medium-range Emad rocket that Iran tested on Oct. 10 was a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, making it a violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution.” That finding prompted the likes of Chris Coons - who, you’re reminded, wants to impose a new tax on Americans to fund the “war” on ISIS - to call for the imposition of new sanctions going into the new year. 

Now, on the heels of a “close call” in the Strait of Hormuz where the US claims rockets fired by the Iranians passed within 1,500 yards of the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, Washington is preparing sanctions against a handful (or two) of companies and individuals tied to Tehran’s ballistic-missile program. 

“The planned action by the Treasury Department is directed at nearly a dozen companies and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates,” WSJ reports, adding that “the sanctions being prepared by the Treasury Department relate to two Iran-linked networks alleged to be involved in developing the country’s missile program and include sanctions on many of the individuals involved.” 

"We've been looking for some time‎ at options for additional actions related to Iran's ballistic missile program based on our continued concerns about its activities, including the October 10th launch,” an unnamed White House official said. "We are considering various aspects related to additional designations, as well as evolving diplomatic work that is consistent with our national security interests." 

Here’s the new sanctions list:

  • U.A.E.-based Mabrooka Trading and its founder, Hossein Pournaghshband
  • Hong Kong-based Anhui Land Group 
  • Five officials from Iran’s Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics, or MODAFL including Sayyed Javad Musavi, a key figure at a MODAFL subsidiary which has been the subject of Treasury Dept. sanctions in the past

Amusingly, Washington is playing the Kim card. Here's The Journal again:

Among the reasons for the potential new sanctions are ties the Treasury is alleging between Iran and North Korea on missile development. This includes Iran buying components from Pyongyang’s state-owned Korea Mining Development Trading Corp., which is sanctioned by both the U.S. and the European Union. 


The U.S. also alleges that Tehran sent technicians to North Korea over the past two years to jointly work with its defense industries on the development of an 80-ton rocket booster.

The "Axis of Evil" is alive and well apparently.

Chris Coons is pleased. “Strict, aggressive, and consistent enforcement is critical to punishing Iran for its destabilizing behavior and making the nuclear deal work,” he said. John McCain, who accused The White House of “turning a blind eye to Iranian saber rattling for fear Iran will walk away from the nuclear deal” after the rocket “incident” on Sunday, along with other war hawks, will likely say the punishment doesn’t go far enough. 

Make no mistake, there are important political implications for Iran as well. "Inside Iran, hard-liners fear that President Hassan Rouhani will use the deal, and the imminent lifting of the nuclear-related sanctions, to bolster his party in the coming parliamentary elections," The New York Times wrote on Wednesday. The same "hard-liners" have in the past derided the Rouhani's nuclear accord.

As WSJ also notes, “Iranian officials have warned the White House in recent months that any such financial penalties would be viewed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as a violation of the nuclear accord.” And make no mistake, the Ayatollah isn’t a man who enjoys being embarrassed.

Sure enough, Tehran was out on Thursday calling the new sanctions “arbitrary and illegal.” 

"Iran's missile program has no connection to the (nuclear) agreement," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said. “Iran will resolutely respond to any interfering action by America against its defensive programs.”

All of this speaks to an underlying debate about why the US should be allowed to interfere when sovereign countries pursue the very same technologies that their sworn enemies are pursuing. As a reminder, the US is also staunchly opposed to the sale of Russian S-300 missile defense systems to Tehran. According to Sergei Lavrov, those weapons cannot be used for offensive purposes and yet Washington still insists Iran shouldn't have them. Ayatollah rants notwithstanding, the idea that Tehran would launch a preemptive strike on Israel (or anyone else for that matter) is borderline absurd. One shouldn't simply expect a major world power to sit idly by while the rest of the world makes advances in both offensive and defensive weapons. 

"Secretary of State John Kerry delayed the nuclear deal reached in July in Vienna by days as he haggled with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, over the side issue of whether, and how long, a United Nations resolution banning missile development and testing would remain in place," The Times reminds us. "The Iranians dismissed that part of the accord as soon as it was announced: Nothing, they said, could infringe on their fundamental right to build a 'defensive technology,' intended to counter Saudi Arabia and Israel."

And why should there be impediments to Iran building defensive technology? Why is a weapon a "threat" in the hands of one nation and a "deterrent" in the hands of another? Consider that, along with the fact that American troops have been operating on Iran's western and eastern borders for over a decade. In fact, when it comes to who's a "threat," there's some evidence to suggest that the reason the Quds cooperated with the US in the wake of 9/11 (at least initially, before Tehran's Shiite militias began attacking US troops years later in Iraq), was that Iran feared it was next on Bush's invasion agenda.

Leaving all of that aside, the more immediate question is whether the new sanctions end up derailing the nuclear deal. The accord will almost certainly go into effect, but if implementation is beset by intractable bickering and mutual distrust, one of Obama's defining "achievements" could well disintegrate into a pile of radioactive ashes. More importantly, US-Iran relations could once again backtrack just as Tehran is resurgent on the world stage. 

Your rating: None

- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Thu, 12/31/2015 - 08:59 | 6981256 Looney
Looney's picture

0bama: “Look, I can smother myself with my own pillow!”  ;-)


Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:16 | 6981279 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

So the US gets to decide who gets weapons and what weapons they are allowed to have? Maybe Iran, a country that has never invaded another country, just wants to be able to defend itself from their new friend in case that friend turns on them.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:50 | 6981354 curbjob
curbjob's picture
"Obama To Hit New "Friend" Iran With Fresh Sanctions Over Contested Ballistic-Missile Program"


Translation :  Saudi Arabia agrees to put a floor under broke back mountain by cutting oil production .. in exchange for new Iranian sanctions. 

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:26 | 6981453 HowdyDoody
HowdyDoody's picture

Well that deal lasted a long time.

Yanqui speak with forked tongue.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:45 | 6981502 Ghost of PartysOver
Ghost of PartysOver's picture

Whoop-de do.  Iran is still getting their billions from the nuclear deal.   This is just bucket full of nothing.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 11:11 | 6981617 FireBrander
FireBrander's picture

I've only interacted with 1 "fresh off the boat" Iranian; a 20-'something woman.


Smart, Sharp, Polite, No body tent, spoke well of her parents, and perfect English even though she was born/raised in Iran.

Hair "fixed', makeup, drop dead beauty...appears as though women are actually worth more than a goat in Iran...amazing...If she's the standard, why all the anger at Iran?

I'm feeling like we should swap "friends"...DUMP the Saudi's for the Iranians.

Independent film on public TV about Iran; daily life of the average people in a city...ice cream and coffee shops, cell phones, modern "nightlife". While they are not fans of Israel, they're not all "Allan's SnackBar!" ready to carry out the wishes of the religious nuts running the country.

I see a real need for "Regime Change"...in WASHINGTON DC...and I'm not just talking about showing Obama the door!

(Hey spelling Nazi's, did I use the right word; woman?)


Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:00 | 6981394 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

"Maybe Iran, a country that has never invaded another country..."

You must have missed that Iraq-Iran War a few years back.


Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:28 | 6981457 HowdyDoody
HowdyDoody's picture

Which part of Iraq invading Iran in 1980 do you not undertand?


Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:49 | 6981517 Pliskin
Pliskin's picture

Obviously all of it!

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:54 | 6981532 BarnacleBill
BarnacleBill's picture

This seems to be a deliberate lie, presumably originating in some US Armed Forces think-tank. Even Wikipedia, so tolerant of US atrocities, acknowledges that Iraq invaded Iran. It did so with the approval of the US government, and with US arms. During that conflict, the US shot down an Iranian civilian airplane - a deed which was rewarded with medals for the captain and crew.


This latest allegation (the firing of rockets near the US carrier) has been denied by the Iranian government. I wonder if it was intended to be another Gulf of Tonkin provocation. We should never, ever, accept the Western MSM's version of any event.



Thu, 12/31/2015 - 11:27 | 6981681 FireBrander
FireBrander's picture

"the firing of rockets near the US carrier"

It's 2016...where's the video? I mean really, our ships have NO video surveillance?

Doesn't common sense hint, even just a bit, that if an "enemy ship" is approaching, maybe video documentation of what occurs would be usefull as evidence before you decide to start a war?

The 'problem' with video evidence is that it proves one side to be a LIAR...usually, the side that didn't make the video but is making "official statements" about what happened.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 11:18 | 6981628 FireBrander
FireBrander's picture

Google first, then open mouth....

"The Iran–Iraq War began when Iraq invaded Iran via air and land on 22 September 1980."

Looks like Iran was defending itself against WESTERN MACRO AGGRESSION!


Thu, 12/31/2015 - 11:47 | 6981771 Max Steel
Max Steel's picture

Well UN sanctions against Iran are over after reaching deal. Rest US can do whatever they want with their sanctions. No one cares :)

Happy New Year Eve! 2016 

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:14 | 6981285 y3maxx
y3maxx's picture

Obama leads from the 19th green.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:27 | 6981314 R.R.Raskolnikov
R.R.Raskolnikov's picture

...at the afterparty some one asks to Obummer: what is your new resolution? Obummer responds: starting a new war, allowing me to get a another Nobel Peace Prize!

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:29 | 6981320 VinceFostersGhost
VinceFostersGhost's picture



Best deal......EVA!!!

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:44 | 6981351 JRobby
JRobby's picture

Student Government with real money (and bombs)

Is that Mulla wearing sunglasses? How Western!

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:04 | 6981407 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

"As long as I am President, ISIS shall never raise it's flag over the eighteenth hole!"

- Braack "Nobel" Obama


Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:32 | 6981329 indygo55
indygo55's picture

"an unnamed White House official said"


That tells me the story about the missle 1500 meters away is bullshit. They want sanctions and the American People will be told we NEED sanctions. Everyone except me and those around here will believe we are so fucking exceptional.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:16 | 6981358 fleur de lis
fleur de lis's picture

They are absolutely itching for a war. They must know that even a minor attack on Iran would have a disastrous response. So the ships in the region must have disposable crews, nobody "connected" aboard, they're just matches to ignite conflict.

I never understood the Nork thing, either. They are completely hemmed in, worldwide sanctions piled on, yet they can maintain a highly sophisticated weapons program. Where do they get the money for that? A massive army that needs to be trained, fed, housed, and ever at the ready. That's more mountains of money? Where does it come from?

Now they're talking about Iran and the Norks, right in the middle of sky-high tensions with Russia, Syria, and Iran. Could someone please make sense of this? Our leaders are up to no good as usual, but going after Iran again doesn't add up.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:18 | 6981433 thetruthhurts
thetruthhurts's picture

 Sanctions for a “close call”.

What  will the US do when China throws a missile next to  our destroyer next time it passes one of their  new islands?

Ban I phones?

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:01 | 6981258 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

lasts gasp of a dead empire...

happy "not" new year...

the storm is here.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:12 | 6981281 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

The Storm has been here. For a while now.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:31 | 6981324 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

the storm is always there, has always been. perceptions of the storm may differ, though

as often, there is a lot of debate about offensive versus defensive weapons, the sword and the shield. irrelevant categories. the shield allows you to strike where or when you could not, without it

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:32 | 6981325 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

. dup. happy new year

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:29 | 6981321 css1971
css1971's picture

New year was on 22nd December. The calendar is wrong.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:02 | 6981259 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

And while the world is getting more fucked each day, FUCK OFF BARRY is doing comedy skits with Jerry Seinfeld.









Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:08 | 6981271 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Well Seinfeld is a Jew after all.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:11 | 6981275 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Seinfeld has joined the hollywood ranks of sucking barry's cock dry for a living.  Hollywood is an industry of substance abusing deviants.


Keep your anti-semitism to yourself.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:23 | 6981299 KesselRunin12Parsecs
KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture

I don't think he was being 'anti-semitic'. I think he was merely pointing out the veritable cornucopia of talented jewish-American comedians we have in and around Hollywood, Washington DC & New York. Perhaps I read his comment wrong.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:48 | 6981355 __Usury__
__Usury__'s picture
"Political Correctness" Is About Control, Not Etiquette

I think tyler ran a story about this last week........

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:05 | 6981396 KesselRunin12Parsecs
KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture

proactive application of control eventually results in lack thereof. Something about sand, fingers, & grip pressure & all that.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 12:37 | 6982010 Consuelo
Consuelo's picture



There is no such thing as 'anti-semitism'.   It is a ruse, employed to end debate.   The term itself, along with its 'usefulness', is well long past its sell date. 

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:28 | 6981317 css1971
css1971's picture

Comedian, president, what's the difference? Both are in entertainment.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:53 | 6981371 goldman58
goldman58's picture

Him and his fucking racist pig of a wife Moooooochele !!!!!!

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:02 | 6981260 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

gee, I thought Horse-Face and O-Traitor made a deal to fix all this stuff just a few months ago?  Didn't work out huh?  what a fucking shocker.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:03 | 6981261 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

The Nobel Prize Winner wants to start the New Year ramping up tensions.  US has 7100 nuclear weapons and Iran has 0.  But, apparently, Iran is still a threat to the US.

Using Stuxnet to destroy Iranian equipment and murdering Iranian nuclear scientists are rights allowed to the hegemon of this world.

Neocons have always wanted a war with Iran.  2016 is the year that they may get their wish.

Happy New Year - Peace on earth.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:08 | 6981270 __Usury__
__Usury__'s picture


here is a free speech story........be careful, very careful


''Italian police have opened an investigation after a controversial website published a list of "influential Jews" working in the country. The names of journalists, businessmen, actors and personalities of Jewish faith were published on the Italian page of Radio Islam, a multi-language platform hosting essays from renowned holocaust deniers.''


Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:35 | 6981334 bamawatson
bamawatson's picture

here is another 'story' ------- Using surveillance video from other area businesses to identify the arsonist, Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, was arrested and charged with starting the Christmas Day fire that devastated a Houston, Texas mosque. Moore is a devout Muslim who attended this same mosque for years, praying up to five times a day every day of the week.Also up in smoke is the DC Media’s hoped-for anti-GOP Narrative. Before any facts were known, numerous DC Media outlets immediately exploited the tragedy to place the blame for the fire on Donald Trump.CBS News:Advocacy groups believe there has been a spike in anti-Muslim incidents across the United States in recent weeks that can be linked to the mass shooting in California and the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates. And they say that Muslims are fearful the backlash could lead to further harassment and violence.CNN:The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on authorities to investigate the fire for an anti-Muslim motive.“Because of the recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this fire,” Mustafaa Carroll, the chapter’s executive director, said in a statement.NBC News:The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on authorities to investigate a possible bias motive in the case, citing what it called a “recent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide.

Now that a devout Muslim has been charged, the DC Media will forget all about the incident.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:42 | 6981346 __Usury__
Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:03 | 6981262 KesselRunin12Parsecs
KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture

So, when Obama is out golfing in Hawaii, is Bibi in charge? Or is Bibi just in charge all the time? /rhetorical

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:40 | 6981483 Pliskin
Pliskin's picture

Same boss, different face...Dick Cheney is in charge.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 12:29 | 6981976 Deathrips
Deathrips's picture

The president of what?



Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:06 | 6981266 _ConanTheLibert...
_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

Let the US shove the nuke deal already!

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:36 | 6981331 curbjob
curbjob's picture

Agreed;  so long as Iran gets to shove the US $ (without the threat of being nuked) before it implodes .

Agreed ?

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:06 | 6981267 HoserF16
HoserF16's picture

Obama reminds me of your first girl friend in Junior High..... Bipolar

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:26 | 6981313 css1971
css1971's picture

Psychotic. Unable to determine reality from fantasy.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:36 | 6981474 Pliskin
Pliskin's picture

Fuck you HoserF16, my first girlfriend in JH was a hot thing called Michelle, cool, big boobs, smoked, could roll a nice joint, gave hand-jobs.  Don't EVER compare her to Obama...although I do hear he gives good hand jobs!

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 09:11 | 6981277 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

Is this anything more than a pathetic joke?  What have sanctions acheived in the last 35+ years?  The Iranian Republic has become stronger over that time not weaker.  Are they trying to make themselves look like fools and improve the image of Iran?  Because that is what is happening.

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:28 | 6981458 ack
ack's picture

Yes. An observant person would definitely see a pattern. One must expose evil. Before destroying it. Otherwise people don't recognize it. For what it is. Obama does a good job exposing evil. Whether by intent or accident.  

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!