US Intensifies Economic Pressure On Iran In Response To Attack On Israel: 'We Will Continue To Deploy Our Sanctions Authority,' Yellen Says

Zinger Key Points
  • The U.S. Treasury, via OFAC, announced new sanctions against Iran due to the April 13 attack on Israel.
  • Sanctions target 16 individuals and two groups aiding Iran’s UAV program. Additional sanctions hit Iran’s steel sector.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), announced Thursday new sanctions against Iran following the unprecedented April 13 attack on Israel.

The sanctions target a network of 16 individuals and two organizations involved in developing Iran’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) capabilities.

These UAVs, particularly the Shahed variant, were utilized in the recent attack, implicating entities like the Kimia Part Sivan Company (KIPAS), which operates under the auspices of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).

Expanding Economic Restrictions

In addition to UAV-related sanctions, OFAC is taking action against Iran's steel industry, which is a major economic driver through its export revenues.

Five companies across various countries have been designated for providing materials for steel production or purchasing finished products from Iran's Khuzestan Steel Company (KSC).

The sanctions extend to three subsidiaries of the Iranian automaker Bahman Group, which are accused of supporting the IRGC and other entities previously designated under U.S. counterterrorism authorities.

Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen emphasized the strategic use of economic sanctions as a tool to undermine Iran's destabilizing activities and its support for terrorism.

“We will continue to deploy our sanctions authority to counter Iran with further actions in the days and weeks ahead,” Yellen stated.

“Our actions make it harder and costlier at every turn for Iran to continue its destabilizing behavior," she added.

Over recent years, the U.S. has sanctioned over 600 individuals and entities linked to Iranian terrorist activities, human rights abuses, and various militant groups.

The Treasury’s sanctions extend beyond just direct penalties on individuals and entities. They include comprehensive blocking measures that freeze all property and interests in property located in the United States or controlled by U.S. persons.

Implications of New Sanctions

These assets must be reported to OFAC, underlining the extensive reach of these measures. The blocking is not limited to the directly named individuals and entities but also applies to any entities owned 50 percent or more by the sanctioned parties, whether directly or indirectly.

U.S. financial institutions and other entities engaging in transactions or business activities with the newly sanctioned individuals and companies may find themselves at risk of facing secondary sanctions.


Coordinated International Measures

The United Kingdom is aligning with U.S. efforts by imposing similar sanctions on Iranian military organizations and firms involved in the UAV and ballistic missile sectors.

This comes in the wake of a statement from the finance ministers and central bank governors of the G7 nations, emphasizing their commitment to coordinate future measures aimed at limiting Iran’s weapons capabilities.

Similarly, European Union leaders have pledged to intensify sanctions against Iran, responding to the serious implications of Tehran’s military actions on regional and global stability.

Market Reactions

Following the announcement of new U.S. sanctions against Iran, oil prices showed negligible movement. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light crude was trading below $82 a barrel on Thursday, underscoring the market’s tempered reaction to geopolitical tensions.

The United States Oil Fund USO, which tracks the price of WTI crude, saw a slight decline, dropping by 0.6%.

An hour into the morning trading session in New York, major indices managed to overcome early losses, indicating a positive market sentiment. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY was up by 0.5%.

Gold also experienced a slight increase, with the SPDR Gold Trust GLD climbing by 0.5%, despite a marginal pullback from its early session highs.

Read now: The Israel-Bombs-Iran Trade: This Trade That Worked After The Israel-Hamas War Started Could Work Again

Photo: Shutterstock

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