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U.S. Mulls Sanctioning Iran’s UAV And Guided Missile Programs: WSJ Report

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U.S. Mulls Sanctioning Iran's UAV And Guided Missile Programs: WSJ Report

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The United States plans to sanction Iran’s UAV and guided missile programs, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed US officials.

The Wall Street Journal reported that US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the sanctions are aimed at disrupting the development of Iran’s weapons program.

“It’s part of a comprehensive approach so we’re dealing with all aspects of the Iranian threat,” a senior US official told the news outlet.

The US has already imposed sanctions against some aspects of Iran’s missile program. However, these new sanctions, according to the officials, would specifically target groups that provide parts used to build drones and missiles and other weapons supply networks.

Another US official said, “Iran’s drones are becoming an increasing threat to our allies in the region.”

The officials said that the sanctions are separate from the Biden administration’s attempts to coerce Tehran to return to full compliance with the Iran Nuclear Deal and to engage in talks to negotiate a new deal.

The Journal reported last week that the Biden administration was considering new sanctions on Iran’s oil sales to China if the ongoing talks in Vienna over the JCPOA’s revival fail.

The potential sanctions, which would only be enforced if Vienna talks fail, would target the shipping network that includes one million barrels of oil a day, the newspaper reported, citing US officials and people familiar with the matter.

Negotiations for the US to rejoin the JCPOA, from which Washington withdrew under the Donald Trump administration, have stalled since the election of Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi.

Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s lead negotiator at the Vienna talks, said that the talks must await Iran’s new administration, which will be in power in early August.

So far, six rounds of negotiations have been held in Vienna, three years after the US unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, and began what it called the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

On July 28th, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the Americans have insisted on their hostile stance against Iran and did not move even one step forward during the talks.

“The Americans say [in words] and promise that ‘we will remove the sanctions’ but they have failed to do so,” said the Leader.

He also said the US wants to add a new clause to the agreement demanding that Iran would begin talks on some other issues.

By adding such a clause, according to Ayatollah Khamenei, the Americans are seeking to gain an excuse for further meddlesome acts regarding the JCPOA, Iran’s missile program and regional issues.

“And if Iran refuses to talk about [those issues], they would say ‘you have violated the JCPOA and therefore there won’t be an agreement anymore,’” the Leader added.

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