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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Trump Administration Issues New Sanctions on Iran

By VOA News February 03, 2017

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced new sanctions on Iran in response to the country's recent missile test launch. Thirteen individuals and 12 entities were sanctioned. Some are based in China, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.

The announcement follows a warning earlier Friday from U.S. President Donald Trump to Iran after the country's foreign minister dismissed U.S. threats in response to the test launch.

"Iran is playing with fire - they don't appreciate how "kind" President Obama was to them. Not me!," Trump tweeted.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also took to Twitter Friday, saying Iran remains undeterred by U.S. threats. "Iran unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people," Zarif wrote.

The sanctions are the administration's first punitive action against Iran since it put the country "on notice" this week after it test-fired a ballistic missile. They reflect the Trump administration's desire to adopt a tougher position against Iran.

National Security

Before the president leaves the White House for his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida Friday, he will have lunch with National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Flynn had a telephone call Friday with China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi.

In a statement after the call, the foreign minister told Flynn China hopes to work with the U.S. to manage disputes and said the two countries have common interests.

Meeting with economic group

Trump met Friday with his economic advisory group. In addition to health care and taxes, the administration's ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries is expected to be among the topics of discussion.

A federal judge in the midwestern city of Detroit issued an order Friday that temporarily restrains the Trump administration from carrying out the travel ban. The order, issued on behalf of the Arab-American Civil Rights League, reaffirms the ban does not apply to legal permanent U.S. residents, including those with green cards.

The 90-day entry ban on citizens of the seven countries is supported by roughly one-half of all Americans, according to polls, and is consistent with repeated promises made by Trump during his election campaign. While unpopular overseas, U.S. Homeland Security chief John Kelly said that the ban is not aimed at Muslims, adding that his agency's mission "is to safeguard the American people, our homeland, our values."

Executive orders

Trump will sign executive orders Friday to review a law designed to reform Wall Street after the Great Recession. The order is a step toward fulfilling Trump's campaign promise to dismantle the law, commonly referred to as Dodd-Frank. Trump will also sign an order to stop a Labor Department rule that aims to restrict potential conflicts among brokers who provide retirement advice.

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