US officially reimposes all sanctions lifted under 2015 Iran nuclear deal
Posted November 5, 2018 8:32 a.m. EST
(CNN) — The United States officially reimposed all penalties that had been lifted as part of the Iranian nuclear deal as the Trump administration added nearly 700 targets, including 50 Iranian financial institutions, to a sanctions list Monday.
In a sweeping list, the Treasury Department labeled an additional 700 entities, including individuals, banks, vessels, aircraft and Iran's energy sector as part of its decision to reapply harsh sanctions that kicked in early Monday morning. The reinstated sanctions follow the Trump administration's decision in May to pull out of the international nuclear deal.
The move brings the total of Iranian-related targets sanctioned under the Trump administration to 900 in less than two years and represents a significant escalation of Washington's efforts to place economic pressure on the Iranian regime.
"The maximum pressure exerted by the United States is only going to mount from here," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement ahead of a briefing with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "We are intent on making sure the Iranian regime stops siphoning its hard currency reserves into corrupt investments and the hands of terrorists."
Among the targets are 92 entities owned or controlled by Ghadir Investment Company, which the US government had previously identified as an investment firm with ties to the Execution of Iman Khomeini's Order, a state-owned enterprise under direct control of Iran's Supreme Leader.
The Treasury Department also labeled 70 financial institutions with ties to Iran, including their foreign and domestic units, which have helped to funnel billions of dollars to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. Those firms include Bank Melli, Arian Bank, Future Bank and the Export Development Bank of Iran.
Some of the banks designated on Monday have served as "financial conduits" for the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics and the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, according to the US government.
"This action is aimed at cutting off Iranian banks that facilitate Iran's domestic repression and foreign adventurism from the international financial system, and will highlight for the world the true nature of the regime's abuse of its domestic banking system," Sigal Mandelker, Treasury's counter-terrorism chief, said in a statement.
The Trump administration also designated more than 200 persons and vessels in Iran's shipping and energy sectors, including the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, which is a maritime carrier, and oil transport giant National Iranian Tanker Company.
"They're the strongest sanctions we've ever imposed," said President Donald Trump en route to a rally in Georgia on Sunday evening, hours before the sanctions on Iran's energy, shipbuilding and banking sectors kicked in at midnight. "We'll see what happens with Iran," adding "they're not doing very well."