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BREAKING: US Slaps New Sanctions On Iran Following Strikes On US Targets

KEY POINTS
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday that the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Iran’s metal exports and eight senior Iranian officials.

 

  • The new penalties came days after Iran fired a barrage of missiles at Iraqi bases that were housing U.S. targets — a move made in retaliation for an American airstrike in Baghdad that killed Iran’s top military leader, Qasem Soleimani.

 

  • On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said that the U.S. will “immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday that the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Iran’s metal exports and eight senior Iranian officials.

The new penalties came days after Iran fired a barrage of missiles at Iraqi bases that were housing U.S. targets — a move made in retaliation for an American airstrike in Baghdad that killed Iran’s top military leader, Qasem Soleimani.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said that the U.S. will “immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.”

The Iranian officials targeted by the Treasury “have advanced the regime’s destabilizing objectives,” the department said in a press release. The officials include the secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council and the deputy chief of staff of Iranian armed forces.

“The United States is targeting senior Iranian officials for their involvement and complicity in Tuesday’s ballistic missile strikes,” Mnuchin said in the release.

Treasury also designated 17 Iranian metals producers and mining companies, along with entities based in China and the Seychelles, among other penalties.

Last month, State Department officials said the pressure on Iran “will intensify in 2020, as the U.S. seeks to rein in Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear infrastructure and regional aggression.”

“There will be more sanctions to come, and Iran’s economic problems and challenges are going to compound in 2020,” a senior State Department official said on a Dec. 30 call with reporters.

“They are already deep into a recession, and we are also seeing Iran come under greater diplomatic isolation.”

Another senior State Department official added that the Trump administration has sanctioned approximately 1,000 individuals and entities with links to Iran’s malign activities.

“What we are doing is denying the regime the revenue that it needs to run an expansionist foreign policy, and by that policy, Iran has less money to spend today than it did almost three years ago when we came into office,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

In December, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced another round of fresh sanctions, this time targeting Iran’s largest shipping company and biggest airline, saying the companies are aiding the regime’s alleged proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

“As long as its malign behaviors continue, so will our campaign of maximum pressure,” Pompeo said during a Dec. 11 press conference at the State Department.

The clash over Soleimani’s death demonstrates the latest example of the heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington since Trump’s withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration.

That 2015 agreement lifted sanctions that crippled Iran’s economy and cut its oil exports roughly in half. In exchange for sanctions relief, Iran accepted limits on its nuclear program and allowed international inspectors into its facilities.

In 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and reintroduced sanctions on Tehran that had been previously lifted in accordance with the nuclear deal. In response, Iran stopped complying last May with some commitments in the 2015 nuclear deal.

On Sunday, Iran announced it would not abide by any limits established in the 2015 nuclear deal on the number of uranium enrichment centrifuges.

Therefore, Iran would have no limit on its enrichment capacity, the level to which uranium could be enriched, or Iran’s nuclear research and development. Iranian state-run broadcast said Tehran’s steps could be reversed if Washington lifted its sanctions.

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