AP NEWS

White House hits Iran with new round of sanctions

May 8, 2019

The White House on Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal by imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s industrial metals, a vital economic sector beyond its rich oil resources.

Mr. Trump’s executive order says the aim is to deny Tehran any revenue from iron, steel, aluminum, or copper that “may be used to provide funding and support for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorist groups and networks, campaigns of regional aggression, and military expansion.”

In an accompanying statement, the president said sanctions relief from the Obama-era nuclear pact had given Iran too much room to fund terrorism and expand its missile programs.

“Because of our action, the Iranian regime is struggling to fund its campaign of violent terror, as its economy heads into an unprecedented depression, government revenue dries up, and inflation spirals out of control,” he said. “We are successfully imposing the most powerful maximum pressure campaign ever witnessed, which today’s action will further strengthen.”

The White House says industrial metals account for 10 percent of Iran’s export economy and will put other countries “on notice” that allowing Iranian metals into their ports “will no longer be tolerated.”

It’s the latest in a string of U.S. actions to crack down on Iran.

Previously, the administration designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. It announced sanctions against countries that import oil from Tehran, and it dispatched American aircraft carrier and bomber task force to the Middle East to counter reports of growing threats from neighboring Iran.

“Tehran can expect further actions unless it fundamentally alters its conduct,” Mr. Trump said. “I look forward to someday meeting with the leaders of Iran in order to work out an agreement and, very importantly, taking steps to give Iran the future it deserves.”