Iranians who said their bones are breaking under U.S. sanctions probably won’t be thrilled to hear about the latest penalties unveiled via U.S. President Donald Trump executive order following the shooting down of a Global Hawk drone last week by Tehran.
“We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran, until the regime abandons its dangerous activities,” Trump told reporters today. “We do not seek conflict with Iran or any other country. I can only tell you we cannot ever let Iran have a nuclear weapon.”
According to NBC News, the new sanctions will deny Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his office access to important financial resources. His assets also are not spared by the new sanctions. The U.S. also will sanction key military leaders who are directly responsible for shooting down the drone, which reportedly cost upward of $130 million.
Mnuchin says US is sanctioning specific military leaders who were responsible for shooting down the US drone last week. pic.twitter.com/abd7ZksKDv
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) June 24, 2019
The U.S. already has sanctions on Iran’s oil industry, and Trump said over the weekend the new sanctions are to deter the country from obtaining nuclear weapons. Tensions between the two sides has built up since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015.
Tensions continued to rise after two oil tankers were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz, which the U.S. blames Iran, which denies the allegations.
On Thursday, June 20, the drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile that the U.S. says was in international airspace. Iran contends the drone was flying in its airspace, violating international law.
Iran also said last Monday that it will grow its enriched uranium stockpile beyond what was allowed under the nuclear deal, which Europe is still committed to following.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin also responded to those who question whether or not the new sanctions would work.
“We’ve literally locked up tens and tens of billions of dollars,” Mnuchin told reporters in the White House briefing room. “These sanctions are highly effective.”