As promised, the U.S. has stepped up sanctions against the regime in Iran, with the latest round targeting Iran’s Central Bank and National Development Fund for sending money slated for the Iranian people to the regime’s terrorist wing.
The measures follow the regime’s repeated attacks on the global economy, including a September 14 missile strike on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields.
“Attacking other nations and disrupting the global economy has a price,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a September 20 tweet. “The regime must be held accountable through diplomatic isolation and economic pressure.”
U.S. Treasury officials in a statement say Iran’s Central Bank funnels money to both the regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps–Quds Force (IRGC–QF) and Hezbollah.
Since at least 2016, the bank has been the IRGC–QF’s chief supplier of foreign currency. In 2018 and early 2019, the bank siphoned several billions of U.S. dollars and euros from the National Development Fund into the IRGC-QF, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist group.
While Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps received a budget increase this year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani still pulled billions from the National Development Fund for state propaganda and terrorism.
President Trump said on September 18 that he had instructed his administration to substantially increase the already historic sanctions on Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
“Iran’s brazen attack against Saudi Arabia is unacceptable,” Treasury Department officials said. “We will vigorously enforce our sanctions to cut off the Iranian regime’s funding of global terrorism and its domestic oppression of the Iranian people, who are the regime’s longest suffering victims.”