US sanctions against Iran soon to be tightened

Henry

Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, warned on Tuesday that further sanctions against Iran will soon be imposed.

It comes after Iran’s unprecedented overnight attack on Israel at the weekend.

“I expect that in the coming days we will introduce additional sanctions against Iran,” she said after the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank began in Washington this week.

According to Yellen, the Treasury will not hesitate to work with US allies to use their sanctions authority “to disrupt the Iranian regime’s malign and destabilizing activities”.

Months of war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza have led to violence in the region involving Iranian proxies and allies who say “they acted in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip”.

But tensions rose even higher with Tehran’s first direct attack on Israel, in retaliation for a deadly attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria.

This attack led to a call for de-escalation by world leaders who fear even greater conflict.

Yellen said in a press conference that US authorities are using economic instruments to counter Iran’s activities.

“Iran’s actions – from this weekend’s attack to the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea – threaten the region’s stability and cause economic turmoil,” she warned.

She did not share too many details about the sanctions, but made it clear that Washington is working to reduce Iran’s ability to export oil and that there “may be more that we can do.”

Yellen also outlined US priorities during the spring meetings, including deepening ties with allies and discussions with China on issues such as the risks of industrial overcapacity.