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Iran warns US against sanctions over missile program

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari

Iran has warned the US against imposing any fresh sanctions on international companies and individuals over the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program, saying Tehran will respond to such meddlesome measures. 

"Such measures are unilateral, arbitrary and illegal and the Islamic Republic of Iran has [already] served notice to the US government [in this regard]," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, said on Thursday. 

Jaberi Ansari was reacting to reports that the US government is planning new sanctions targeting about 12 companies and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates for their alleged involvement in Iran's missile program.

"The Islamic Republic will respond to any meddlesome action against its defense program by strengthening its defense might,” he said.

The planned sanctions, reported by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, come as the US prepares to lift restrictions on Iran over its nuclear program within the framework of Iran's July nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Jaberi Ansari reiterated that Iran’s missile program is solely for defense purposes and in line with national security interests.

“No measure can deny the Islamic Republic of Iran its legitimate and legal rights to boost its defense might and national security,” he said.

Iran has already said that any fresh sanctions on the country would be a flagrant violation of the JCPOA, whose implementation is expected in January.

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