Trump imposes new sanctions on Iran targeting supreme leader

Vastavam Web: U.S. President Donald Trump targeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other senior Iranian officials with new U.S. sanctions on Monday, looking for a fresh blow to Iran’s economy after Tehran’s downing of an unmanned American drone. With tensions running high between the two countries, Trump signed an executive order imposing the sanctions, which U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said would lock billions of dollars more in Iranian assets.

Trump told reporters that the sanctions were in part a response to last week’s downing of a U.S. drone by Iran, but would have happened anyway. He said Khamenei was ultimately responsible for what Trump called “the hostile conduct of the regime” in the Middle East. “Sanctions imposed through the executive order … will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader’s office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support,” Trump said. The sanctions are aimed at denying Iran’s leadership access to financial resources, blocking them from using the United States financial system or having access to any assets in the United States. Tensions between the United States and Iran have grown since May when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil. Iran says it will not be forced to the negotiating table.

Sanctions were also imposed on eight senior commanders of Navy, Aerospace, and Ground Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the U.S. Treasury Department said.