US Defense Secretary James Mattis has called Iran the world’s biggest state sponsor of “terrorism”, hours after the Trump administration announced fresh sanctions on the country following a recent missile test.

James Mattis warned that the world would not ignore Iranian activities, which he said were helping destabilize the entire Middle East.

“We have seen their [Iran’s] misconduct, their misbehavior, from Lebanon and Syria to Bahrain and to Yemen and it’s got to be addressed at some point,” he told reporters on Saturday in Tokyo, where he is on his first official foreign visit. “I think it is wise to make certain that Iran recognizes that what it is doing is getting the attention of a lot of people.”

“We are working day and night for the security of the Iranian nation,” said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ air force.

Mr. Mattis did not say he thought there should be more US troops in the Middle East to deal with Iran, however.

He was speaking after the US imposed new sanctions on the country, comprising of restrictions on 13 individuals and 12 companies, the first time since former President Barack Obama lifted crippling economic sanctions from the country in 2015.

Last Sunday, Iran test-fired a medium-range missile, which the White House says violated a UN Security Council resolution prescribing missiles that could carry a nuclear device. Tehran has confirmed it tested a ballistic missile but has denied it was a breach of a 2015 nuclear deal.

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