The US unilaterally imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran’s financial sector in a move that critics say could have unintended consequences, including a detrimental impact on the ability of the Iranian people to access humanitarian resources.
Thursday’s tranche of sanctions — coming less than a month before the US presidential election — are the latest in the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign that they say is aimed at causing Tehran to change its behavior. That campaign — under which the administration walked away from the Iran nuclear deal — has left the US largely isolated from key European allies.
In a press release, the Treasury Department said it sanctioned 16 banks “for operating in Iran’s financial sector,” one bank “for being owned or controlled by a sanctioned Iranian bank,” and another bank affiliated with the Iranian military.
Under the new sanctions, “all property and interests in property of designated targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to” the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
“In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities after a 45-day wind-down period may expose themselves to secondary sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action,” the Treasury Department said.
“Today’s action to identify the financial sector and sanction eighteen major Iranian banks reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to U.S. dollars,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “Our sanctions programs will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programs.
Secretary of State