The U.S. Treasury Department announced that it had “identified the financial sector of the Iranian economy pursuant to… Executive Order (E.O.) 13902, which authorises Treasury to sanction any Iranian financial institution. Subsequently, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned eighteen major Iranian banks”. Secretary Mnuchin maintained that the action “reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to U.S. dollars… Our sanctions programs will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programs”. “Today’s actions will continue to allow for humanitarian transactions to support the Iranian people”, he argued. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif asserted: “Amid [the] COVID-19 pandemic, [the] U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food and medicine. Iranians will survive this latest of cruelties. But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity”.
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