The Obama administration will delay planned sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, the Wall Street Journal
reported late Thursday.
Reports had emerged
Wednesday that the Treasury Department would levy sanctions in the wake of Iran’s missile testing in October and November.
U.S. officials quoted by the Journal did not suggest a timeframe for the sanctions.
Iran earlier Thursday condemned
potential sanctions, saying they violate July’s nuclear agreement between the Middle Eastern nation and world leaders.
"Iran will resolutely respond to any interfering action by America against its defensive programs," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also denounced
the reports that the U.S. was considering new sanctions over Iranian missiles and called for "more speed and seriousness" in Tehran's missile program.Rouhani also responded
to the reports by alluding to new missile power development if the U.S. push further.
Taken together, the tension casts fresh doubt on whether the U.S. can implement the nuclear accord it reached with Tehran over the summer rolling back sanctions on Iran in exchange for new limits on the nuclear program.
The administration has faced pressure to sanction Iran for its missile tests, with many arguing that if the country got away with the missile tests, it would embolden leaders to ignore the nuclear deal.
“Despite the recent agreement on the nuclear situation ... I think they're saying to us, we're still not going to roll over on anything else,” said
Retired Navy Vice Adm. Peter Daly, CEO of the United States Naval Institute.
—Updated Friday at 10:55 a.m.; Jesse Byrnes contributed.