Iran Allegedly Fired Missiles on US Aircraft Carrier Increasing Tension, Amid Talks of new US Sanction

Written by  Reuters Thursday, 31 December 2015 14:16

Amid tension with US trying to impose new sanctions over Iran's Ballistic Missile Program, US alleged that their Revolutionary Guards launched a rocket near their Aircraft-Carrier in the Gulf.

Iran have outrightly denied the allegations on Thursday of targeting the U.S. aircraft-carrier Harry S. Truman and other warships as they were entering the Gulf on Saturday, rejecting a U.S. report as "psychological warfare".

"The naval forces of the Guards have not had any exercises in the Strait of Hormuz during the past week and the period claimed by the Americans, for them to have launched missiles and rockets," the Revolutionary Guards website quoted Ramezan Sharif, the Guard's spokesman, as saying.

"The publication of such false news under the present circumstances is akin to psychological warfare," Sharif said.

NBC News, citing unnamed U.S. military officials, said the Guards were conducting a live-fire exercise and the Truman came within about 1,500 yards (meters) of a rocket.

The U.S. Report came forth just when 'The Wall Street Journal' had mentioned potential sanctions to be imposed on about 12 companies and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their suspected role in developing Iran's ballistic-missile program.

U.S. officials have said the Treasury Department retains a right under July's landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, including Washington, to blacklist Iranian entities suspected of involvement in missile development, the Journal said.

Iranian officials have said the country's supreme leader would view such penalties as violating the nuclear accord.

A team of U.N. sanctions monitors said in a confidential report seen by Reuters on Dec. 15 that a medium-range Emad rocket that Iran tested on Oct. 10 was a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, making it a violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Diplomats have said it was possible for the sanctions committee to blacklist additional Iranian individuals or entities over the missile launch. But they said Russia and China, which have opposed the sanctions on Iran's missile program, might block any such actions.

Tehran has disputed the Western assessment that the Emad missile was capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

The Journal said the planned Treasury Department sanctions concerned two Iran-linked networks involved in developing the country’s missile program and include many of the people involved.

The sanctions would prohibit U.S. or foreign nationals from conducting business with the companies. U.S. banks would also be required to freeze any assets the companies or individuals hold inside the American financial system.

Among those targeted would be UAE-based Mabrooka Trading Co LLC and its founder, Hossein Pournaghshband, for aiding Iranian state companies in acquiring carbon fiber for Iran’s missile program, the newspaper said, citing a Treasury statement.

The Treasury is also preparing to sanction five Iranian officials at the country’s defense ministry and its subsidiaries for work on the ballistic-missile program, according to the newspaper.

The Journal said reasons for the potential sanctions included ties the Treasury is alleging between Iran and North Korea on missile development.

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