U.S. Treasury sanctions Iranians, Chinese for supporting Assad

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The U.S. sanctioned two Iranian defense officials, an Iranian company and members of a China-based network for supporting Iran's ballistic missile program, the U.S. Treasury said in a statement Wednesday.

The U.S. paired the announcement with new, unrelated sanctions that go after Iran for a ballistic missiles program that Washington fears could target U.S. interests in the Middle East or key allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.

"This administration is committed to countering Iran's destabilising behaviour, such as Iran's development of ballistic missiles and support to the Assad regime", US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. The U.S. says the program is a breach of worldwide law because the missiles could carry nuclear warheads in the future. "And they were also at the table and they still support the deal".

In a similar move last month, Trump's administration certified to Congress that Iran is complying with the terms of the deal — a requirement for Iran to keep receiving the economic benefits of the deal.

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He added: "This attack provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem". The cyber criminals have demanded a fee of about Dollars 300 in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin for unlocking the device.

But the summit could be overshadowed by a surprise attendee: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court and shunned by the United States for the past 10 years.

While he was running for office Trump vowed to renegotiate or tear up the nuclear deal.

Iran criticised new U.S. sanctions on its missile programme on Thursday (May 18), saying they would undermine a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Meanwhile, the US Departments of State and Treasury announced to apply new targeted sanctions on individuals and firms helping Iran's banned ballistic missile programme.

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Under the terms of the 2015 deal, the previous USA administration of president Barack Obama agreed to waive sanctions on Iran's nuclear program in return for controls to prevent its developing a bomb. The Obama administration did so in mid January, forcing the Trump administration to decide by Wednesday whether to renew them or to put the wider Iran deal at risk. "It is alarming that individuals involved with Iran's missile program are assisting the brutal Assad regime, and we are taking action to curtail this behavior".

The Iranian government and some Iranian citizens have been disappointed that U.S., European Union and United Nations sanctions relief provided so far under the nuclear deal has failed to spark an economic renaissance.

Mr Trump has consistently warned Iran over its missile activity, and has criticised the terms of the deal made by Mr Obama - at one point claiming his "number one priority" if elected would be "to dismantle the disastrous deal".But the other nations involved in the agreement - including China, Russia, and the United Kingdom - believe it is the best way to prevent Iran getting a nuclear weapon. The State Department also released its semi-annual report on human rights violations in Iran, as required by law.

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