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‘Toughest Ever’ Sanctions On Iran’s Central Bank Imposed By The US

‘Toughest Ever’ Sanctions On Iran’s Central Bank Imposed By The US
The ‘toughest ever’ sanctions against Iran were announced by on Friday by the United States president Donald Trump while also indicating that there were no plans for any military actions against Tehran. Trump also termed restraint to be a sign of strength.
Sanction related actions against Iran’s central bank were detailed by the US Treasury Department after the US blamed Iran for the attack on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure last Saturday which created concerns of shortage in global crude supplies sparking a price hike.  
"We have just sanctioned the Iranian national bank," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "These are the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country."
But no military response was planned by the US, indicated Trump attacking critics who had predicted that would start a war.
"The easiest thing I could do (is) knock out 15 different major things in Iran. "I could do it right here in front of you. And that would be it. And then you would have a nice, big story to report," Trump said.
"But I think the strong-person approach and the thing that does show strength would be showing a little bit of restraint, Much easier to do it the other way. It's much easier. And Iran knows if they misbehave, they're on borrowed time," he said.
Strict sanctions against Iran by the US is already in place which also includes the central bank of the country and has threatened that anyone dealing with Iran would face the ire of the Trump administration. The sanctions were imposed after Trump moved the US out of the Iran nuclear deal alleging that Tehran’s nuclear program was not following the deal agreement and that the deal was very lenient to Iran’s nuclear program.
The US treasury Department was further imposing strengthening the sanctions against the Iranian central bank because of “terrorism” related issues, the Department said, and added that the "billions of dollars" had been provided by the central bank to two groups that had been under the US blacklist.
According to analysts, these types of sanctions would be difficult to be raised by any Democrat successor of Trump if the current president fails to win a second term next year.
"Iran's brazen attack against Saudi Arabia is unacceptable," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. "Treasury's action targets a crucial funding mechanism that the Iranian regime uses to support its terrorist network, including the Qods Force, Hezbollah and other militants that spread terror and destabilize the region," he said.
International operations are conducted for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, who in turn are responsible for security of the clerical regime of Iran, by the Qods Force.
Amongst Iran's closest regional partners is the Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group and political party in Lebanon.
The latest measures are a way "to push Tehran to shun funding terrorism", said Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which supports tough action on Iran. "It proves to Tehran that there will be no stopping US sanctions unless Iran changes its behavior," he said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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