Hillary Clinton calls for new Iran sanctions due to missile test

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton © Scott Morgan
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for new sanctions on Iran over its recent ballistic missile test. Her comments come as earlier economic sanctions are being partly lifted, after Iran fulfilled measures set by the nuclear deal.

“Iran is still violating UN Security Council resolutions with its ballistic missile program, which should be met with new sanctions designations and firm resolve,” Clinton said in a statement.

The former US secretary of state stressed that if she is elected president this year, she will take on Iran with a “distrust and verify” attitude.

Clinton also applauded Iran’s release of US citizens. “I am greatly relieved by the safe return of American prisoners from Iran.”

Latest media reports indicated that a detained American student, Matthew Trevithick, has already left Iran, while “logistical steps” are in process to send four other prisoners, including the jailed Tehran bureau chief for the Washington Post, Jason Rezaian, home.

READ MORE: Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian & 4 others freed in Iran prisoner swap deal – reports

While lashing out at Iran for its missile tests, Clinton has apparently been fine with weapons being sent to some of its Middle Eastern neighbors, despite them being criticized for dismal human rights records..

Amid Clinton‘s presidential campaign, media reports have surfaced claiming that regional players, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have donated billions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. At the same time, those same nations had weapons deals approved by the US State Department when it was headed by Clinton.

READ MORE: Repressive govts donated to Clinton Foundation, arms deals approved by Hillary’s State Dept. - report

“Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents,” International Business Times wrote in May 2015, citing a review of available records.

Meanwhile, US Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal joined Clinton’s call for more sanctions on Iran on Saturday, arguing its missile tests violated UN resolutions.

“Without delay, the United States should enforce sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program,” Blumenthal said.

READ MORE: US to sanction nearly 12 companies, Iranian officials over ballistic-missile program – report

Both Clinton’s and Blumenthal’s statements come as international economic sanctions imposed on Iran earlier due to suspicions that its nuclear program was being used to develop atomic weapons were formally lifted after the UN nuclear watchdog – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – released a statement saying Iran has fulfilled all of the measures required under its deal with six world powers.

“The report was submitted to IAEA board of governors and to the United Nations Security Council,” IAEA director general Yukiya Amano said on Saturday, adding that “it was issued after agency inspectors on the ground verified that Iran has carried out all measures required under the JCPOA to enable implementation day to occur.”

READ MORE: Iran to develop 5,000-km range missiles in response to US sanctions

The JCPOA, known as the Iran nuclear deal, was signed between Tehran and six world powers (the so-called P5+1 group comprised of China, France, Russia, the UK, the US and Germany) on July 14, 2015. The deal entailed Iran shrinking its atomic program in return for the US, EU and UN lifting economic sanctions.