Iran Responds to New US Sanctions With More of Its Own
Iran announced Thursday plans to sanction nine U.S. individuals and companies in response to what it called an "unacceptable, illegal" decision by the United States to impose new sanctions in connection with Iran's ballistic missile program.
An Iranian Foreign Ministry statement said those sanctioned violated human rights through direct or indirect links to Israeli government crimes in Palestinian territories or by supporting terrorists. It said their names would be announced later.
The U.S. Treasury announced the new sanctions Wednesday on two Iranian defense officials, an Iranian company and members of a China-based network. "These sanctions target Iranian officials as well as a China-based network that are providing support to Syria and supplying items to further Iran's ballistic weapons program," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. "The United States will remain vigilant when it comes to Iran."
The top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, Stuart Jones, said Iran's missile program is in breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Brazilian President Denies Endorsing Bribery
Brazilian President Michel Temer has denied a newspaper report that said he endorsed paying a jailed former congressman to remain silent in a bribery investigation.
The O Globo newspaper published a story Wednesday it said was based on a secret recording made during a meeting between Michel Temer and businessman Joesley Batista.
The report said that when Batista told the president he was paying former Speaker of the House Eduardo Cunha to keep quiet, Temer responded, "You have to keep that up, all right?"
A statement from Temer's office confirmed that he met with Batista, but said he never solicited payments.
Cunha led the impeachment fight that ousted former President Dilma Rousseff last year and brought Temer to power.
Cunha was later imprisoned on a 15-year sentence for corruption in an embezzlement scandal involving the state-owned Petrobras oil company, and has indicated he could implicate others.
Wednesday's report brought some calls for Temer's resignation as well as protests in Sao Paolo.