Zarif: US sanctions have no effect

Iran's Foreign Minister plays down US sanctions against the Iranian Space Agency.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday played down the sanctions imposed by the US against the Iranian Space Agency.

"The Americans are addicted to sanctions," said Zarif, who is on an official visit to Bangladesh, according to the Xinhua news agency.

"These US sanctions have no effect and the world is also beginning to ridicule the United States," he claimed.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions against the Iran Space Agency and two of its research institutes.

“This is the first time the United States is designating Iran’s civilian space agency for activities that advance its ballistic missile program,” said Pompeo.

“The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs. Iran’s August 29 attempt to launch a space launch vehicle underscores the urgency of the threat,” he continued.

The sanctions follow Iran’s failed rocket launch last week which led to an explosion Iran's satellite launching site in Semnan province.

President Donald Trump on Friday commented on the explosion at the Iranian site, saying that the United States was not involved with the failed Iranian rocket launch.

“I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One,” he wrote in a tweet which included a satellite image of Thursday’s failed launch.

On Monday, a spokesman for the Iranian government confirmed that an explosion occurred in Iran's satellite launching site, but ruled out any sabotage of Iran's space projects.

The US has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iran over the past year, after it withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

On Wednesday, the US imposed sanctions on an Iranian shipping network for supplying millions of barrels of oil to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The sanctions target 16 corporate entities, 10 people and 11 vessels. One of the companies targeted by the sanctions is the Mehdi Group, a corporation based in India.