The Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced on Thursday that its ballistic missile program and “regional influence” represented in its cross-border activities, were “red lines” and would not be affected by “the intentions, hopes and aspirations of the American rulers.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian criticized the imposition of new sanctions against an Iranian and entities with close ties to the Revolutionary Guards, specifically a unit in charge of developing ballistic missiles.
“Everything now depends on whether the United States wants to be realistic or responsible for the failure of negotiations,” Iranian agencies quoted Abdollahian as saying during a meeting with his Uzbek counterpart, Omar Razakof, in Tunxi, southeast China on Thursday.
With the Vienna negotiations faltering, the United States imposed on Wednesday sanctions on an Iran-based procurement agent and his network of companies that procured ballistic missile propellant-related materials for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The US Treasury said that the decision came after the Iranian missile attack on Erbil in Iraq and the Houthi missile attack on Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
“Today’s action follows Iran’s missile attack on Erbil, Iraq on March 13 and the Iranian enabled Houthi missile attack against a Saudi Aramco facility on March 25 as well as other missile attacks by Iranian proxies against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and are a reminder that Iran’s development and proliferation of ballistic missiles continues to pose a serious threat to international security,” the US Treasury statement read.
“This action reinforces the United States’ commitment to preventing the Iranian regime’s development and use of advanced ballistic missiles,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson.
“While the United States continues to seek Iran’s return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will not hesitate to target those who support Iran’s ballistic missile program. We will also work with other partners in the region to hold Iran accountable for its actions, including gross violations of the sovereignty of its neighbors.”
On Thursday, Reuters quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh as saying that Washington continues to violate the United Nations resolution that enshrines the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, despite its claims of wanting to revive the pact.
“This move is another sign of the US government’s malice towards the Iranian people, as it continues the failed policy of maximum pressure against Iran,” the spokesperson added.
In a statement, the IRGC said that its missile force and regional influence were “a red line for the Iranian people.”
It added that Iran was targeted by the American “mafia regime,” noting that “weakening and undermining Iran’s vitality and defensive and deterrent depth is one of the primary goals of the enemies in order to destroy the Iranian Republic…”