The US Treasury Department said yesterday that it has imposed new sanctions on five individuals and several entities alleged by Washington to be involved in Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

The treasury said that the sanctions target the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unit responsible for research and development of ballistic missiles, as well as Iran’s Parchin Chemical Industries. This is the intermediary which procures parts for missile propellant systems.

“While the US continues to seek Iran’s return to full compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [the 2015 nuclear deal], we will not hesitate to target those who support Iran’s ballistic missile programme,” the Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, told reporters in Washington. He added that his country will work with other partners in the region “to hold Iran accountable for its actions, including gross violations of the sovereignty of its neighbours.”

According to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, meanwhile, the remaining obstacles in the nuclear negotiations in Vienna are “dependent on the American will.” Abdollahian’s comment came during his meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on the sidelines of the third formal meeting of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries held in China.

The Iranian diplomat was also reported to have met his Qatari counterpart, Hamad Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani during the same meeting.