US Treasury announces new Iran sanctions

17 Octobre, 2018, 01:45 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The Basij Resistance Force is a component of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

The sanctions hit "a vast network" of businesses and financial institutions supporting Iran's Basij Resistance Force, a paramilitary organization tied to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC, the Islamic Republic's chief fighting force that is widely known for conducting terrorist operations outside Iran's borders, including ones that have killed Americans.

According to an announcement on Treasury's website, the United States is also imposing sanctions on Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company, Esfehan's Mobarakeh Steel Company, and other companies linked to investment, commodities and engineering.

The Trump administration has been steadily restoring sanctions on Iran since he withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord in May.

The sanctions could also impact any global company or individual known to be doing business with any of the 20 or so entities now subject to sanctions. Iran has been grappling with an economic crisis in recent months, with its currency plunging to historic lows and sporadic protests breaking out. The first set of sanctions, which were eased under the terms of the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration, was re-imposed in August. A second, more sweeping set of sanctions is set to be re-imposed in early November.

"In addition to its involvement in violent crackdowns and serious human rights abuses in Iran, the Basij recruits and trains fighters. including Iranian children, who then deploy to Syria to support the brutal Assad regime", it said.

The new sanctions come just a day after eight Iranian newspapers published a rare joint editorial criticizing the U.S. sanctions as a human rights violation, targeting the Iranian civilian population.

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The Basij, a paramilitary force formed soon after the 1979 revolution, is one of the Iranian regime's primary enforcers of internal security with branches in every province and city of Iran, according to the Treasury.

"Bonyad Taavon Basij has expanded its reach into Iran´s economy by establishing several investment firms through its financial and investment offshoot Mehr Eqtesad Bank", the Treasury statement said.

A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the U.S. dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.

The sanctions-part of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure campaign" on Iran-come after a series of Iranian missile and drone strikes in the region that have drawn widespread condemnation, including from the Trump administration.

Hoping to avoid further worldwide sanctions, Iran's parliament recently voted to join a global convention to cut off terror financing. The bill must be ratified by the Guardian Council, a constitutional authority, to become a law. Joining the CFT is unlikely to prevent Iran from continuing to support such groups.

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