Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. will hit Iran with new sanctions following multiple missile attacks aimed at Iraqi bases where American troops were housed.
The new sanctions target metal exports out of Iran and eight senior Iranian officials. Iran’s missile strikes Tuesday night were in response to American drone strike that killed Iran’s top Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week.
“This order will have a major impact on the Iranian economy,” U.S. President Donald Trump said in a statement. “These punishing economic sanctions will remain until the Iranian regime changes its behavior.”
Trump hinted at the sanctions during a press conference Wednesday where he announced “Iran appears to be standing down” after the strikes on Iraqi military bases that resulted in no American casualties.
The Iranian officials, which includes the deputy chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces and the secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council, were targeted for having “advanced the regime’s destabilizing objectives,” according to the Treasury Department statement.
“The United States is targeting senior Iranian officials for their involvement and complicity in Tuesday’s ballistic missile strikes,” Mnuchin explained in the release.
Seventeen Iranian metals producers and mining companies will also be hit with sanctions, along with entities based in China and the Seychelles.
The U.S. has already hammered Iran with a bevy of other sanctions after Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Mnuchin was pressed on whether the sanctions on the Middle Eastern country were working during a press conference Friday, but he pushed back.
“The economic sanctions are working,” Mnuchin said. “If we didn’t have these sanctions in place, literally Iran would have tens of billions of dollars. They would be using that for terrorist activities throughout the region.
“There is no question that by cutting off the economics to the regime we are having an impact.”