FLASH: Secretary Mnuchin, “Trump Order Will Lock up Billions More in Iranian Assets”
Monday, President Trump signed an executive order targeting Iran’s supreme leader and his associates with financial sanctions, the latest action the US has taken to discourage Tehran from developing nuclear weapons and supporting militant groups.
The sanctions follow Iran’s downing of a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz that has ratcheted up tensions. President Trump pulled back from the brink of retaliatory military strikes on Iran last Friday, but is continuing his heavy pressure campaign.
The targets of the new sanctions include senior military figures in Iran, blocking their access to any financial assets under US jurisdiction.
“These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions,” President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
“We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran until the regime abandons its dangerous activities and its aspirations, including the pursuit of nuclear weapons, increased enrichment of uranium, development of ballistic missiles, engagement and support for terrorism, fueling of foreign conflicts and belligerent acts directed against the United States and its allies.”
The sanctions work to deny Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his close aides access to money and support.
Iran’s naval commander warned that Iranian forces would not hesitate to act again and shoot down more US surveillance drones that violate Iranian airspace. The US said the drone was flying over international waters.
“We confidently say that the crushing response can always be repeated, and the enemy knows it,” Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.
Iran has decried the US sanctions, which essentially bar Iran from selling its Crude Oil internationally, as “economic terrorism.”