The United States on Friday slapped new sanctions on Iran to cut off “billions of dollars” of support to the country as tensions continued. The sanctions target some of Iran’s export sectors and eight senior Iranian officials involved in “destabilising” the US’ activities in West Asia and a missile attack on two air bases in Iraq this week, the Donald Trump administration said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the president will issue an executive order imposing sanctions on anyone involved in the textile, construction, manufacturing or mining sectors in Iran. There will be sanctions against the steel and iron sectors too. “As a result of these actions we will cut off billions of dollars of support to the Iranian regime,” said Mnuchin.
The officials targeted by the sanctions include the secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council and the deputy chief of staff of Iranian armed forces, the Treasury Department said.
Meanwhile, Trump claimed in an interview to Fox News that attacks on four US embassies may have been planned by Iran before airstrikes ordered by him killed top military general Qassem Soleimani last week. The assassination triggered renewed tensions between the United States and Iran, which reached a peak after Tehran shot over a dozen ballistic missiles at two airbases housing United States troops in Iraq on Wednesday. Soleimani was the head of the elite Quds Force.