US Hits Iran With New Wave of Economic Sanctions

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US Hits Iran With New Wave of Economic Sanctions
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US Hits Iran With New Wave of Economic Sanctions
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Earlier today, President Trump signed “hard-hitting” economic sanctions against Iran in response to their recent provoations. Just yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared more than 80 percent of the Iranian economy already under sanctions. The US Treasury Department has threatened foreign financial institutions with severe consequences if they are found in violation of today’s executive order.

The move comes in response to claims that Iran shot down an unmanned American drone last week. The US and its allies are also blaming Iran for six oil tanker attacks in just the past few weeks. President Trump says he planned to retaliate militarily but called off the strikes at the last minute, after being told 150 Iranians would likely die as a result.

President Trump has repeatedly signaled that he would prefer to deal with Iran’s behavior through the use of sanctions rather than military conflict. The president tweeted this morning about the situation, saying it should not be the responsibility of the US to protect shipping vessels travelling through the Strait of Hormuz. He also suggested he would be willing to negotiate with the Iranians, the only preconditions being an end to their sponsorship of terrorism and a requirement not to develop nuclear weapons.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin promised today’s executive order would deny the Iranian government access to billions of dollars in assets. “Along with that action today, we are also announcing specific actions targeting those responsible for recent activities,” he said earlier today.

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