Amid escalating tensions, US slaps new sanctions on Iran

Last Updated: Thu, May 09, 2019 03:06 hrs

[USA], May 9 (ANI): The US on Wednesday imposed fresh sanctions on Iran targetting its steel and mining industries, amid rising tensions between the two nations.

The US said that the sanctions were slapped on Iran's steel, aluminium, iron, and copper sectors hours after Tehran said that it would reduce its commitments in the 2015 nuclear deal.

"The order takes steps to deny Iran revenue, including revenue derived from the export of products from Iran's iron, steel, aluminium, 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," according to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump.

"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," it added.

The order stated that the move "blocks the property and interests in property of persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State."

"The order also authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose correspondent and payable-through account-related sanctions on a foreign financial institution upon determining the foreign financial institution has, on or after the date of the order, knowingly conducted or facilitated a significant financial transaction," it said.

The fresh sanctions by Washington could impact other nations having trade ties with Iran. Also, the announcement comes on the first anniversary of the US' decision to pull out from the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump further said that the order "puts other nations on notice that allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated," The Hill reported.

Earlier in the day, the US President said that he hoped "someday" to meet Iran's leaders to chalk out a new deal.

"I look forward to someday meeting with the leaders of Iran in order to work out an agreement and, very importantly, taking steps to give Iran the future it deserves," Trump was quoted by the online newspaper as saying.

Ties between the US and Iran soured after Washington pulled out from the Iran nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last year.

Following this, the US slapped a multitude of sanctions on Iran, citing the latter's support to state-sponsored terrorism and conflicts.

The agreement, hailed as a major diplomatic victory by the Barack Obama administration, was intended to limit Iran's civilian energy programme, thereby preventing it from developing nuclear weapons at some point in the future - in exchange for relief from sanctions that were crippling the country's economy.

Iran on Wednesday announced partial withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed with world powers, a year after the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement.

The partial withdrawal would mean that Iran would stop exporting enriched uranium stocks as against what was stipulated by the 2015 agreement.

Tehran warned that the remaining signatories -- the UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia -- had 60 days before it would resume high-level enrichment of uranium.

Intensifying its pressure against Iran, the Trump administration had designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a foreign terrorist organisation, which was followed by Tehran's similar move of labelling CENTCOM with the same designation.

Washington also recently announced that no fresh sanction waivers will be issued for Iranian oil imports to eight countries, including India. (ANI)