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US imposes new ballistic missile sanctions on Iran after latest launch

The United States on Friday imposed new ballistic missile sanctions on Iran, a day after the Islamic Republic launched a rocket towards space.

Though the flight ultimately wasn't successful, officials told Fox News, Iran's rocket is thought to be a step toward developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could one day carry a nuclear weapon.

The sanctions announced on Friday target six Iranian subsidiaries of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group. The Treasury Department said that group is “central” to Iran’s ballistic missiles program.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions illustrate deep U.S. concerns about Iran’s missile testing and other actions. He said the U.S. would continue countering Iran’s ballistic missile program -- including Thursday’s “provocative space launch.”

The U.S. has said the launch flouted a United Nations Security Council resolution because the technology is inherently designed to be able to carry a nuclear payload.

The sanctions come as the Trump administration continues debating its Iran policy and whether to scrap the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.