MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the US Department of State announced that it would impose sanctions on Iranian defense officials and a Matin Sanat Nik Andishan entity over the United States concern with "Iran’s continued development of ballistic missiles, which is inconsistent with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231." Apart from this, a China-based network that had allegedly supplied "missile-applicable items" to a key Iranian defense entity was also sanctioned by the United States.
"Iran condemns the United States' hostile attempt to undermine the positive results of the implementation [by Iran] of the JCPOA by the inclusion of individuals into the list of unilateral and illegal extraterritorial sanctions," the Foreign Ministry's statement quoted Qassemi as saying.
The spokesman characterized Iran's missile program as the country's "absolute and legal right" as it strives to boost its defense potential, adding that Tehran would continue the program's development.
According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry's statement, Tehran introduced reciprocal sanctions against nine US individuals and legal entities that "are directly or indirectly involved in the commission of crimes by the Zionist regime against human rights in the Palestinian territories or in the terrorist activities of this regime, and are also involved in supporting terrorism, the oppression of people in the region and undermining of Iran's national security."
The wider economic and financial sanctions which are connected to Iran's activities in the nuclear field were lifted by the United States in January 2016 after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) came into force. The agreement between Iran and P5+1 countries (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, United States plus Germany) is aimed at preventing nuclear weapons development by Tehran.