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People's Daily Online

U.S. imposes sweeping sanctions on Iran's financial sector

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:09, October 09, 2020

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Thursday announced sweeping sanctions on 18 Iranian banks, redoubling its maximum pressure campaign by crushing the financial sector of Iran's economy.

"Today's action to identify the financial sector and sanction eighteen major Iranian banks reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to U.S. dollars," Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

According to the statement, all property and interests of the property of the designated entities in the United States have been blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

The statement said that financial institutions and other persons might face secondary sanctions if they engage in transactions with designated entities after a 45-day wind-down period.

The Washington Post reported in a Thursday piece that European allies warned these sanctions could have devastating humanitarian consequences on Iran.

Some analysts echoed the concern that sanctions would hurt ordinary Iranians. Barbara Slavin, an Iran expert at the Atlantic Council, told CNN that new sanctions amid rising coronavirus cases in Iran are "particularly cruel," calling it "sadism masquerading as sanctions."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Wednesday slammed the latest move from Washington. "Amid Covid19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine. Iranians WILL survive this latest of cruelties," he tweeted.

"But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity. Culprits & enablers-who block our money-WILL face justice," Zarif added.

The sanctions announcement on Thursday was the latest move of the U.S. continuous maximum pressure campaign against Iran. The United States last month claimed that all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Iran had been restored, a unilateral effort ignored by the international community.

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