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US announces imposeing new sanctions on Iran

By AFP

April 17, 2024 08:10 AM


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The United States said Tuesday it would soon impose new sanctions on Iran's missile and drone program after its weekend attack on Israel, and that it expects its allies and partners to follow with parallel measures.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's announcement came after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen indicated punitive measures were in the works, and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said his office was working on it.

Iran sent more than 300 missiles, drones and rockets at Israel over the weekend, in what it said was retaliation for a deadly strike on Tehran's consulate in Damascus. Nearly all of the projectiles were intercepted, and there was little damage.

"In the coming days, the United States will impose new sanctions targeting Iran, including its missile and drone program" as well as the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian defense ministry, Sullivan said in a statement.

"We anticipate that our allies and partners will soon be following with their own sanctions," he added.

"These new sanctions and other measures will continue a steady drumbeat of pressure to contain and degrade Iran's military capacity and effectiveness and confront the full range of its problematic behaviors."

US authorities have been using economic tools to counter Iran's activities, taking aim at its drone and missile programs, as well as its financing of groups like Hamas, which launched its own attack on Israel on October 7.

Earlier, Yellen previewed the sanctions, telling reporters: "Iran's actions threaten the region's stability and could cause economic spillovers."

The Treasury will not hesitate to work with US allies to "use our sanctions authority to continue disrupting the Iranian regime's malign and destabilizing activity," she said.

She added that "all options to disrupt terrorist financing" will be on the table.

 

- 'More that we could do' -

 

Months of war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have triggered violence in the region involving Iranian proxies and allies who say they are acting in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

But tensions have soared even higher with Tehran's first direct assault on Israel, which has prompted appeals for de-escalation by world leaders fearing wider conflict.

Yellen did not offer specifics on the possible measures to be taken, but said Washington has been working to diminish Iran's ability to export oil, adding there might be "more that we could do."

The United States is also looking to work with G7 partners and countries including China to constrain Iran's ability to access goods needed to build weapons, a senior Treasury official told reporters.

"We're going to have conversations with all major suppliers around the world," the official said.

In Brussels, Borrell said after an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers that some member states had proposed "the adoption of expanded restrictive measures against Iran" and that his office would begin preparatory work.

"We have to move away from the edge of the abyss," Borrell said.

Sullivan said that Washington had sanctioned more than 600 Iran-linked individuals and entities "connected to terrorism, terrorist financing and other forms of illicit trade, horrific human rights abuses, and support for proxy terrorist groups."

"The pressure will continue," he warned.

"We will not hesitate to continue to take action, in coordination with allies and partners around the world, and with Congress, to hold the Iranian government accountable for its malicious and destabilizing actions."


AFP


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