Following the escalation on Friday morning, in which the US Treasury Department published a list of 13 Iranian individuals and 12 Iranian entities facing new restrictions following Iran's recent ballistic missile test, Tehran promptly denounced the latest round of sanctions imposed by the US and said it would retaliate - something it has previously said it would do - however added a new twist when Tehran announced it would impose legal restrictions on American individuals and entities helping "regional terrorist groups", a Foreign Ministry statement read as quoted by TV.
For obvious reasons, this naming and shaming of US-based terrorists promises to be far more interesting than if Iran were to actually ban, say, the US national chess team. Such an action will quickly coalesce the world's attention on a handful of US entities, putting under a microscope all of their offshore activities.
"The new sanctions ... are not compatible with America's commitments and resolution 2231 of the U.N. Security Council that endorsed the nuclear deal reached between Iran and six powers," the Iranian Foreign Ministry statement said late on Friday.
Tehran said it will react accordingly to any U.S. measure aimed at the Iranian nation's interests.
"In retaliation for the U.S. sanctions, Iran will impose legal restrictions on some American individuals and entities that were involved in helping and founding regional terrorist groups," the Foreign Ministry statement said. It said names of the entities and individuals would be announced later, although it was not clear when exactly that is.
As reported earlier, on Friday, the US Treasury Department blacklisted 13 individuals and a dozen businesses as part of the sanctions. The majority of the individuals in question are from Iran, as well as three Chinese nationals and two Arabs.
“Iran’s continued support for terrorism and development of its ballistic missile program poses a threat to the region, to our partners worldwide, and to the United States,” John E. Smith, acting director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said. He added that in countering what he called “Iranian malign activity,” Washington will not hesitate to put more pressure and restrictions “to address this behavior.”
Countering rising US rhetoric, Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said in a twitter post that “Iran unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people.”
“We'll never initiate war, but we can only rely on our own means of defense,” he stressed. Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan noted that Tehran “will not allow foreigners to interfere” in the country’s defense issues and insisted “the test did not violate the nuclear deal or (UN) Resolution 2231."
The international agreement referred to by the Iranian Foreign Ministry in its statement on counter sanctions against the US, is the so-called P5+1 agreement. The pact was signed by six major world powers (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France, and Germany) and Iran in July 2015. Under the treaty, Tehran agreed to reduce the number of its centrifuges by two-thirds.
Late on Friday Paul Ryan said that despite the new sanctions, Iran's Nuclear Deal, key to keeping the price of oil from spiking, the Iran nuclear deal is likely to stay in place. That however may change depending on what US-based names Iran drops as helping "regional terrorist groups." Once Iran unveils the list, we will update this post.