President Donald Trump announced new U.S. sanctions against Iran Friday in response to a ballistic missile test conducted by Iran last week.
In addition to the sanctions, defense officials confirmed Friday the USS Cole has been moved to patrol the waters off the coast of Yemen to protect waterways from attacks on ships by the Houthi, a militia group aligned with Iran.
The USS Cole is the same ship that was attacked while in port in Yemen by a terrorist bomb in 2000, killing 17 U.S. sailors.
A Saudi warship off the western coast of Yemen was attacked by a suicide bomber earlier this week, causing an explosion that killed two crew members.
U.S. officials feared the attack was either intended for a U.S. ship, or was a practice run for a similar attack against a U.S. ship.
The move comes approximately five months after the U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes aimed at destroying three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi forces. That attack was a retaliation for failed missile attacks by the Houthi on another U.S. destroyer.
The newest actions against Iran drew praise from a high-ranking Republican lawmaker.
“This announcement makes clear that it is a new day in U.S.-Iran relations and that we will no longer tolerate Iran’s destabilizing behavior,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said in a statement. “A coordinated, multi-faceted effort to pushback against a range of illicit Iranian behavior is long overdue.”
The sanctions were not imposed on the government of Iran, but rather a dozen individuals and organizations involved in obtaining the materials and technology for the country’s missile program.
CBS News White House correspondent Margaret Brennan tweeted the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration Friday were actually in the works during the Obama administration.
Iran officials have lashed out at Trump following his temporary ban on travel from Iran and six additional countries with high Muslim populations.
“This is not the first time when an inexperienced man is threatening Iran,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, senior adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “The new administration of America will realize that threatening Iran will not work, and empty and baseless ranting should be stopped.”
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