Dusseldorf The US government has sanctioned the country's central bank and sovereign wealth funds for allegedly financing terrorist activities. It's the hottest sanctions ever imposed on a country, US President Donald Trump said Friday at the White House. "We have now cut off all sources of income for Iran," said Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin.
The two institutions have sent the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which classifies Washington as a terrorist organization, billions of dollars and euros, it said. The Shiite militias Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen also received funds.
The US government had previously targeted the central bank. The new sanctions should further complicate Iran's already severely limited access to the international financial system. President Trump said, "It's a pity what's going on with Iran. It's going down the drain, "said Trump. "You just have to stop terrorism," he explained. Following the attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia last weekend, Trump had announced a tightening of sanctions. The US government sees Iran as the originator of the attack, but Tehran denies this.
Even a company, which is said to have helped with arms purchases by the Iranian military, was sanctioned. The assets of sanctioned persons and institutions in the US are frozen and US companies and banks are no longer allowed to do business with them. Also, foreign banks and individuals who continue to do significant business with them, could be sanctioned by US claims.
The Ministry of Finance has said that all governments should be aware that if they continue to work with the central bank, they risk the "integrity of their financial system".
Since the United States unilaterally ended its nuclear deal with Iran over a year ago, tensions between Washington and Tehran have continued to grow. The US wants to use harsh sanctions and a policy of "maximum pressure" to persuade Iran to agree to a new deal with stricter conditions and stop supporting terrorist groups in the region. The US sanctions hit Iran's important oil and gas production hard and triggered an economic crisis. Iran, however, wants to restart its nuclear program.
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