The Trump administration announced on Friday a series of new devastating sanctions against Iran which U.S. officials said would cut off billions of dollars from the Islamist terrorist regime.
The sanctions were announced by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a press briefing at the White House and come in response to Iran’s latest attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.
“First, the President is issuing an executive order authorizing the imposition of additional sanctions against any individual owning, operating, trading with, or assisting sectors of the Iranian economy, including construction, manufacturing, textiles, and mining,” Mnuchin began. “And let me be clear: These will be both primary and secondary sanctions. The EO also allows us to designate other sectors in the future as Secretary Pompeo and me think is appropriate.”
“Second, we are announcing 17 specific sanctions against Iran’s largest steel and iron manufacturers, three Seychelles-based entities, and a vessel involved in the transfer of products,” Mnuchin said. “As a result of these actions, we will cut off billions of dollars of support to the Iranian regime, and we will continue our enforcement of other entities.”
“Third, we are taking action against eight senior Iranian officials who advanced the regime’s destabilizing activity and were involved in Tuesday’s ballistic missile strike,” Mnuchin concluded. “Today’s sanctions are part of our commitment to stop the Iranian regime’s global terrorist activities. The President has been very clear: We will continue to apply economic sanctions until Iran stops its terrorist activities and commit that it will never have nuclear weapons.”
Pompeo said that the new sanctions, in addition to cutting off vital resources to the regime, specifically target “the heart of the Islamic Republic’s inner security apparatus.”
“These sanctions targets include the secretary of the Supreme National Council and the commander of the Basij Forces; that’s the regime’s brute squad, which has, in the last few months, killed approximately 1,500 Iranians who were simply demanding freedom,” Pompeo said. “Our action targets other senior leaders close to the ayatollah. They’ve carried out his terrorist plots in destabilizing campaigns across the Middle East and around the world. They’ve employed soldiers across the region’s battlefields. They’ve trained militias in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere in the arts of domestic repression.”
“The goal of our campaign is to deny the regime the resources to conduct its destructive foreign policy. We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation. We believe the sanctions that we impose today further that strategic objective,” Pompeo continued. “Our campaign is composed of diplomatic, economic components that have deprived the regime of billions in revenue the regime has used to fuel death and destruction across the Middle East and all across the world.”
Pompeo noted that while the Obama administration opened up revenue streams for Iran, which included giving Iran money that former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted would be used for terrorism, the Trump administration has imposed crushing sanctions on the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
“But under our administration, oil revenues are down by 80% and Iran cannot access roughly 90 percent of its foreign currency reserves,” Pompeo said. “And not even two weeks ago, President Rouhani of Iran admitted that our sanctions have cost Iran over $200 billion in lost foreign income and investment. As long as Iran’s outlaw ways continue, we will continue to impose sanctions.”