Washington announces new sanctions against Iranian entity, nine individuals
The United States has announced its new sanctions against nine Iranian individuals and one entity, ‘appointees of, or have acted for or on behalf’ of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
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The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the new sanctions in a press release on Monday, which coincided with the 40th anniversary of takeover of the former US embassy in Tehran.
The department said that it took action against the General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces and its Chairman Major General Mohammad Baqeri as well as Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi, who was appointed by the Leader in March 2019.
It also slapped sanctions on former defense minister and a commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Hossein Dehqan and the commander of the IRGC's Khatam al-Anbiya Headquarters Major General Gholam Ali Rashid.
The new sanctions also targeted officials at Ayatollah Khamenei's Office, including his chief of staff.
US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin accused the aforementioned individuals of a wide range of "malign behaviors."
US sanctions block any US-controlled property or interests held by those targeted, and prohibit anyone or any entities in the United States from dealing with those sanctioned.
Washington has slapped a series of what it calls paralyzing bans on Iranian exports, entities and officials as part of its maximum pressure campaign against Tehran.
US President Donald Trump in June announced new sanctions against Iran targeting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top IRGC commanders.
Trump signed an executive order in the Oval Office of the White House that he said will deny the Leader's Office and other Iranian officials access to financial instruments.
Later in August, Trump's administration imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for what Iran calls “great fear” of his eloquent delivery of the Iranian nation’s message to the world.
In his statement on blacklisting Zarif, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the top Iranian diplomat is a “key enabler” of Iran’s policies throughout the region and the world.
Tensions have been running high between Iran and the United States since May 2018, when President Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Trump is a stern critic of the deal, which was clinched in 2015 by Iran and six world powers, including the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia, and Germany. Under the agreement, nuclear-related sanctions put in place against Iran were lifted in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.