The White House has said it needs to do more diplomatic and technical work before it will announce any sanctions in response to ballistic missile launches by Iran.
President Barack Obama's administration is considering a number of additional targets for sanctions related to Iran's ballistic missile program.
The U.S. Congress has been notified of those deliberations.
Some lawmakers have criticized the administration for what they describe as delayed punitive action in response to Iran's recent missile tests.
Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said the pact that the United States and five other world powers negotiated with Iran last year to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon will not impede future sanctions.
Rhodes said Iran had no say on who the United States targets with sanctions designations. He said Washington expected protests from Iran, but added that won't affect the final decision.
Rhodes spoke in Hawaii on January 2 as President Barack Obama wraps up his Christmas vacation.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP