Iran missile

Iran’s October missile test. (Iranian Defense Ministry via AP)

While Iran progresses with its ballistic missile program in full force, the US is still weighing its options regarding new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The US is still weighing its options for imposing new sanctions on the Islamic Republic in response to its development of missiles and violation of UN resolutions, a State Department official stated Tuesday.

“What I can tell you is that we take very seriously the ballistic missile program that Iran continues to pursue. We have tools at our disposal in the terms, particularly in terms of sanctions that we have used in the past. We are still open to using that in the future…we are fully prepared to continue to use sanctions with respect to this most recent ballistic missile test. We are still working through some technical issues there. And I just don’t have any sanctions to announce today,” State Department John Kirby stated during the daily press briefing.

When asked about the “technical issues,” Kirby refused to elaborate.

Regarding reports that elements within the State Department intervened and stopped the imposing of sanctions on Iran last week at the behest of the Iranians, Kirby said that “there continues to be a robust inter-agency discussion about moving forward on sanctions for this particular program.”

“We do make the decisions on an inter-agency basis between all the appropriate agencies. It’s not about one agency or another stopping a train. It’s a constant process of inter-agency dialogue and discussion. But we don’t take foreign policy advice and guidance from Iran or from any other country,” he stressed.

Conflicting reports emerged from the White House last week on the possibility that the Obama administration was poised to level sanctions against Iran in wake of its ballistic tests during October and November, which were a blatant breach of UN resolutions voted on immediately after the signing of the controversial nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 Powers in July.

In the meantime, Iran unveiled a second massive missile silo on Tuesday, which, according to the Iranians, was one of many.

Similarly, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) announced last week that its operational units have been supplied with large numbers of the new long-range Fateh-13 precision missiles.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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