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Iran Criticizes U.S. For Imposing New Sanctions Over Missile Program

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi

Iran has criticized new U.S. sanctions against individuals and companies with links to the country’s missile program, saying they would undermine the 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers.

"Iran condemns the U.S. administration's ill will in its effort to reduce the positive results of the country's implementation of [the nuclear deal] commitments," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on May 18 on the instant-messaging service Telegram.

President Donald Trump's administration said on May 18 that it was extending sanctions relief for Iran that was granted under the nuclear deal in exchange for curbs in Tehran's nuclear program.

But it also imposed new economic sanctions on two Iranian defense officials, an Iranian company, as well as a Chinese national and three associated Chinese firms for supporting Iran’s ballistic-missile program.

The decision came just before the Obama administration's last six-month waiver expires and ahead of Iran’s presidential election on May 19.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons, and Ghasemi said Tehran would continue its missile program, insisting that it is part of the Islamic country's "absolute and legal right” to build up its defensive capabilities.

Based on reporting by AFP and IRNA