US announces new sanctions on Iran

The United States today (Friday) announced additional sanctions on Iran as a result of Tehran’s attack on US troops in Iraq this week, according to the US treasury secretary, Al Jazeera reported.

Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, and Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, said in a joint news conference on Friday that the new measures would target eight senior Iranian officials involved in “destabilising” activities in the Middle East, as well as Tuesday’s missile attack.

Among the senior Iranian officials targeted in the new measures were Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, the Iranian armed forces deputy chief of staff and Gholamreza Soleimani, the head of the Basij militia, a volunteer force loyal to the government.

Mnuchin said US President Donald Trump would issue an executive order imposing sanctions on anyone involved in the Iranian textile, construction, manufacturing or mining sectors.

Separate sanctions would also be imposed against the steel and iron sectors, he said.

“As a result of these actions, we will cut off billions of dollars of support to the Iranian regime,” Mnuchin said, adding that waivers would be issued for anyone who would help with the investigation of Wednesday’s plane crash that killed 176 people in Iran.

He said the sanctions hitting Iran’s economy would continue “until the regime stops the funding of global terrorism and commits to never having nuclear weapons”.

The administration has already reinstated all the US sanctions that were eased under the 2015 nuclear deal, which has caused significant economic hardship in Iran and cut its oil exports to historic lows.

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