On Monday, President Donald Trump took action after “a series of aggressive behaviors” by Iran, including shooting down a US drone that was conducting surveillance over international waters. Trump made the announcement from the Oval Office, stating that new “hard-hitting” sanctions would deprive Iran of “key financial resources and support.”
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“Today’s action follows a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent weeks including shooting down a U.S. drone,” said Trump, according to a report by Fox News. The president also called out Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as being “responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime.”
Trump stated that the new sanctions “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.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin added that the move would “lock up literally billions of dollars more of assets.”
“Along with that action today, we are also announcing specific actions targeting those responsible for recent activities,” said Mnuchin. He later added that Trump had given him instructions to sanction Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “later this week.”
In a news release, the Treasury Department stated that “any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant financial transaction for entities designated under this Executive Order could be cut off from the U.S. financial system.”
The sanctions aren’t the only action that has been taken against Iran in the days following the shooting down of a US drone. While Trump nixed planned airstrikes against the nation, last Thursday, a cyberattack against Iran was reportedly carried out that targeted the Iranian radar and intelligence facilities that played a role in the attack against the drone.
Trump halted the proposed airstrikes after finding out that the action could lead to the deaths of up to 150 Iranians. “I stopped it, not … proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” said Trump in a series of tweets.
Shooting down the drone is only the latest action in the region tied to Iran. Over several weeks, six oil tankers were targeted by attacks while in the Gulf of Oman, moves which the US and several of its Gulf allies blamed on Iran.