White House Not Ruling Out Anti-Iran Sanctions Over Ballistic Missile Test
20:09 15.01.2016(updated 21:01 15.01.2016)
White House cannot rule out imposing sanctions against Tehran 'at any time' over its ballistic missile program.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States still considers sanctions against Iran over a recent ballistic missile test, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Friday.
'There has been significant discussion about the possibility that the United States could impose sanctions on Iran over their ballistic missile program, and I certainly wouldn't rule out that that's something that could be imposed here at any time,' Earnest stated. 'So that has always been an option on the table.'
In December, media reported that Iran tested a surface-to-surface Emad (Pillar) missile in previous months in violation of a UN Security Council resolution.
However, the White House spokesperson said Iran has moved forward in upholding its commitments outlined in the agreement on its nuclear program.
'Iran has made important progress in fulfilling the obligations and commitments that they made in the context of that international agreement to dismantle significant portions of their nuclear infrastructure,' Earnest stated. He added he had no updates on the timing of when exactly the agreement would be implemented.
Earnest emphasized that Iran would not receive any sanctions relief until the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) could 'independently verify' that Tehran was upholding its commitments under the nuclear agreement. Moreover, IAEA would also need to continue to monitor Iran's nuclear program 'to verify their ongoing compliance with the agreement.'
The timing, Earnest added, would depend on when Iran would complete the steps it committed to as outlined in the nuclear agreement and once the IAEA would verify they had been made.
In July 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries comprising the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany, signed an agreement that guarantees the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions' relief.
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