Pompeo announces intensified sanctions on Iran

(JTA) — The United States levied intensified sanctions on Iran, extending existing sanctions on its financial and energy sectors to its trade in metals.

The sanctions announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday are “in response to Iran’s attacks against U.S. forces and interests, and to deprive the Iranian regime of revenue to conduct its violent foreign policy,” according to a statement issued by the State Department.

The Treasury Department will sanction 22 companies and three ships “for operating in the iron, steel, aluminum, or copper sectors of Iran, and related activities,” the statement said.

In addition, President Donald Trump will issue an Executive Order authorizing sanctions on other sectors of the Iranian economy, including: construction, manufacturing, textiles, and mining.  “This action will significantly expand the United States’ ability to target this regime’s various revenue streams,” Pompeo said.

Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran’s energy and financial sectors after leaving the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

The statement added that “our sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior. The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Iran’s campaign of terror, murder, and mayhem will not be tolerated any longer.”

The actions include sanctions against eight senior Iranian leaders, including Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council; Gholamreza Soleimani, commander of the Basij, and six other senior officials who were appointed by and act on behalf of Iran’s Supreme Leader.  “These individuals have carried out Iran’s terror plots and campaigns of mayhem across the region and are complicit in the recent murders of around 1,500 Iranians protesting for freedom,” the statement said.

The State Department also will sanction Beijing-based Pamchel Trading Co. for transferring 29,000 metric tons of steel from an Iranian firm that is a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

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