U.S hits Iran with new sanctions, targets 8 officials involved in 'destabilizing activities'
The Trump administration on Friday announced a new round of economic sanctions against Iran in response to the regime’s missile attacks on Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. and coalition forces.
“As long as Iran’s outlaw ways continue, we will continue to impose sanctions,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced the measures along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a press conference.
Iran launched more than two dozen ballistic missiles Tuesday night that targeted Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. and coalition forces in response to the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.
Pompeo and Mnuchin said the sanctions would target individuals involved in Iran’s construction, manufacturing, textile and mining sectors, including its largest steel and iron manufacturers.
The administration also is issuing sanctions against eight Iranian officials involved in “destabilizing activities" as well as the ballistic missile attack on Iraqi airbases on Tuesday, Pompeo said.
“The president has been very clear: We will continue to apply economic sanctions until Iran stops terrorist activities and commits to never having nuclear weapons,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin said the sanctions will “cut off” billions of dollars in support to the Iranian government.
Trump said Thursday that Soleimani had been plotting attacks on multiple embassies and suggested the Iranian commander had been planning specifically to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Earlier this week, Pompeo said classified U.S. intelligence showed that Soleimani had been involved in planning an imminent attack on Americans.
Pressed Friday for more details about those claims, Pompeo said, “We had specific information on an imminent threat, and those threats included attacks on U.S. embassies … period, full stop.”
“I don't know completely which minute, we didn't know exactly which day it would've been executed," Pompeo said. "But it was very clear: Qassem Soleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests, and those attacks were imminent — against American facilities, including American embassies, military bases, American facilities throughout the region."
“This was going to happen,” he continued. “We would have been culpably negligent had we not recommend to the president to take this action against Qassem Soleimani.