The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday announced new restrictions targeting the few Iranian banks that hadn’t been subject to the sanctions Washington reimposed following its withdrawal from the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, raising fears that the country could face difficulty bringing in food, medicine and other humanitarian necessities as it battles a severe coronavirus outbreak.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin identified 18 Iranian banks it would target with sanctions in order to choke off the country’s connection to the global economy.
While the Trump administration claimed the action would “allow for humanitarian trade,” European officials expressed concern that it would deprive Iran’s devastated economy of access to foreign currency to pay to import essential supplies.
Iran is battling a new rise in Covd-19 cases, seeing its highest-single day case number on Tuesday with 4,151, as well as a record 227 deaths on Monday, according to Al Jazeera.
In August, the U.S. attempted to “snapback” sanctions that were lifted by the multilateral nuclear deal struck in 2015, but the U.N. Security Council announced all 15 member countries except the Dominican Republican rejected the proposal, deeming it illegal given Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement.
The sanctions are meant to dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but since Trump’s controversial withdrawal from the global pact