Trump White House Preparing New Sanctions on Iran, Officials Say

White House sources tell ABC News the sanctions are "in the works."

ByABC News
February 2, 2017, 10:22 PM

— -- Senior White House administration officials told ABC News Thursday that new sanctions on Iran are “in the works” and could come “as soon as tomorrow.”

The sanctions are President Donald Trump’s administration's response to Iran’s ballistic missile test on Sunday. Just Wednesday National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn said the White House was "officially putting Iran on notice.”

“The Trump administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity, and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East and place Americans lives at risk,” Flynn said.

Flynn said some of Iran’s “provocative” behavior included the ballistic missile launch and an attack conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants on a Saudi naval vessel on Monday.

Sanctions banning non-U.S. companies from doing business in Iran were largely lifted beginning in January 2016 after it complied with an international agreement intended to ensure its nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. Most sanctions that apply to U.S. entities remain in place.

Secondary sanctions on foreign firms over Iran's alleged support for terrorism, human rights abuses and its missile and advanced conventional weapons programs also remain in place.

Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile on Sunday that exploded after traveling 550 miles within Iranian territory, Pentagon sources said. It is currently under dispute whether or not Iran violated a United Nations Security resolution meant to bar the country from developing a ballistic missile arsenal.

This is the first known Iranian ballistic missile test under the Trump presidency, but Iran conducted similar tests during the Obama administration.

Sen. Bob Corker, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, and an official who has been consulting with the White House confirmed a plan for further sanctions on Iran was in the works.

“I think you are going to see a coordinated effort sanctions-wise and other in multiple ways against Iran,” Corker said in a live interview on MSNBC Thursday morning. “It’s too early to talk about military options.”

In a background briefing with reporters, senior White House administration officials also said they are considering a number of options but did not offer a direct reply on whether or not military action is off the table.

“We’re in a deliberative process,” the White House official said. “The important thing here is we are communicating that Iranian behavior needs to be rethought by Tehran, that we consider these actions to be inherently destabilizing and a threat to our friends and allies.”

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