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Thursday, 09 May 2019 10:25

Latest U.S. sanctions target Iran’s metal sectors

President Trump signed an executive order May 8 that authorizes secondary sanctions on individuals and financial institutions dealing in Iranian metals in order to deny the Iranian regime the cash it needs to fund its terrorist activities around the world.

An employee at the Iran Alloy Steel Company plant in the central Iranian city of Yazd in 2015. (© Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)An employee at the Iran Alloy Steel Company plant in the central Iranian city of Yazd in 2015. (© Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

“It remains the policy of the United States to deny Iran all paths to both a nuclear weapon and intercontinental ballistic missiles, and to counter the totality of Iran’s malign influence in the Middle East,” the president said.

“It is also the policy of the United States to deny the Iranian government revenue, including revenue derived from the export of products from Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors, that may be used to provide funding and support for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorist groups and networks, campaigns of regional aggression, and military expansion,” he said.

It has been a year since the U.S. ended participation in the  Iran nuclear deal and embarked on a “pressure campaign” to change the Iranian regime’s behavior. During that time, the U.S. has designated more than 970 Iranian entities and individuals and more than 70 financial institutions.

This new authority further expands U.S. secondary sanctions against Iran’s top exports: oil, petrochemicals and metals, including iron, steel, copper and aluminum.

In April, the U.S. added the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations and moved to full enforcement of U.S. sanctions on oil exports, ending all significant reduction exceptions.

The United States continues to work with nations around the world to address the Iranian regime’s malign activities, which include:

  • Ballistic missile development and proliferation.
  • Financial and other material support for terrorism, extremism and regional proxies.
  • Support for the Assad regime’s atrocities against the Syrian people.
  • Grievous and persistent human rights violations and abuses.
  • Arbitrary detention of foreigners, including U.S. citizens, on false charges and without due process.
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