US House Speaker says he backs more sanctions against Iran

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)
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks to the media following the House GOP Weekly Conference Meeting in January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

The Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan says he would support additional sanctions on Iran over Tehran's recent missile tests.

"I would be in favor of additional sanctions on Iran," Ryan told reporters on Thursday at a weekly press conference.

"We need to have a tough-on-Iran policy ... We should stop appeasing Iran."

US President Donald Trump has stepped up rhetoric against Iran, saying the White House has formally put Tehran on notice over its latest ballistic missile test.

Trump wrote on his twitter account on Thursday that Iran should have been “thankful” for what he called the terrible deal the US made with it.

“Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the US made with them!” Trump wrote, echoing his national security adviser’s comments a day earlier.

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Trump's threats came a day after US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn criticized Iran over its missile test.

"We are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn said in a statement on Wednesday.

Flynn repeated the US claims that ballistic missile tests violate a UN Security Council resolution that endorsed Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers, including Washington.

UN Security Council Resolution 2231 calls on Iran "not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology."

Iranian officials have condemned the recent provocative comments by American officials on the latest missile tests as “baseless” and “provocative,” saying Tehran does not wait for permission from any foreign state to defend itself.

Iran’s defensive ballistic missile program has been a bone of contention with the West. Tehran says its missile tests do not breach UN resolutions because they are solely for defense purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Arms control experts have also said that Iran’s missile tests are not banned under the nuclear agreement and the Security Council resolution, because Iran's missiles are not meant to deliver nuclear warheads. 

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