The U.S. Treasury Department issued sanctions “against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), the National Development Fund of Iran (NDF) and Etemad Tejarate Pars Co. under its counterterrorism authority”. Secretary Mnuchin indicated that the “action targets a crucial funding mechanism that the Iranian regime uses to support its terrorist network, including the Qods force, Hizbollah and other militants that spread terror and destabilise the region”. Mnuchin also contended that “this is the last remaining source of funds… we’ve now cut off all sources of funds to Iran”. Secretary of State Pompeo commented that “the evidence points to Iran – and only Iran” in being behind the 14 September attack on Saudi oil facility, adding that “attacking other nations and disrupting the global economy has a price… our pressure of maximum pressure will continue to raise costs on the Islamic Republic of Iran until it reverses its destabilising policies across the Middle East and around the world”. Iran’s central bank chief argued that “the U.S. administration’s imposition of sanctions on the CBI again shows how empty their hands are in finding leverage against Iran”, while Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded to the designation by saying it showed Washington’s “desperation and the failure of its ‘maximum pressure’ policy”.
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