By Arshad Mohammed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is expected to impose sanctions on multiple Iranian entities as early as Friday following Tehran's recent ballistic missile test, but in a way that will not violate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
One source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said about eight Iranian entities were to be sanctioned, or "designated" in U.S. legal jargon, for terrorism-related activities and about 17 for ballistic missile-related activities under separate existing U.S. executive orders. The source declined to name the entities.
The sources said the new sanctions had been in the works for some time and that Iran's decision to test-fire a ballistic missile on Sunday had helped to trigger U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to impose them.
The White House signaled a newly aggressive stance toward Iran on Wednesday when Michael Flynn, Trump's national security advisers, made a statement putting Iran "on notice" for test-firing the missile and senior U.S. officials said the administration was reviewing how to respond.
The new sanctions may be the leading edge of a tougher policy but the sources stressed that the United States was imposing them in a manner so as not to conflict with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.
Spokespeople for the White House and the State Department had no immediate comment.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Chris Reese and James Dalgleish)