- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 17, 2016

On the day after the U.S. and other nations removed most of the sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed a new, much smaller series of penalties on Iranian individuals and companies over Tehran’s missile program.

The Treasury Department announced the penalties Sunday morning, shortly after a prisoner swap with Tehran was made good as four Americans seized by Iran left the Islamic republic and the U.S. released seven Iranians held on violations of sanctions and agreed to rescind arrest warrants for 14 others.

A Treasury Department statement said all 11 entities, five of them persons, were “involved in procurement on behalf of Iran’s ballistic missile program.”

The sanctions freeze assets held in the U.S. or American banks and forbid any U.S. entities from doing business against the sanctioned Iranians. As onerous as they may be for the individuals or companies, these sanctions pale against the windfall the Obama administration gave the Islamic republic Saturday. The lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions is estimated to be worth more than $100 billion in the short term and allow Iran to re-enter the broader world economy.

According to multiple reports, the Treasury Department had planned to announce the penalties at the end of last year, but the U.S. held off because the Iranians had warned that they could hamper talks on prisoner exchanges.

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