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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US and UK sanction Iran over strikes on Israel

The new restrictions target Tehran’s drone-building industry

London and Washington have blacklisted several Iranian military officials and companies in the steel, automotive and drone industries in response to the “destabilizing” strike on Israel last Saturday.

Iran targeted Israel with a barrage of drones and missiles, in what Tehran called lawful retaliation for the April 1 bombing of its consulate in Damascus, Syria, which killed seven high-ranking officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

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British Foreign Secretary David Cameron announced the sanctions at a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Capri, Italy. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also issued a statement.

“The sanctions announced today alongside the US demonstrate our unequivocal condemnation of Iran’s attack on a sovereign state,” Cameron said.

“We’re using the Treasury’s economic tools to degrade and disrupt key aspects of Iran’s malign activity, including its UAV program and the revenue the regime generates to support its terrorism,” said Yellen. “Our actions make it harder and costlier at every turn for Iran to continue its destabilizing behavior.”

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UK sanctions involve seven individuals and six entities accused of enabling Iran to conduct “destabilizing regional activity, including its direct attack on Israel.” London has already imposed over 400 sanctions on Tehran, which include the IRGC in its entirety.

The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) went after 16 individuals and two entities, including the company that makes engines for the Shahed drones that were used in Saturday’s strike.

UK sanctions involve the freezing of any assets the designated individuals or entities may have under British jurisdiction, as well as a ban on traveling to the country.

American sanctions likewise involve the blocking of property, as well as a ban on any US citizens, permanent residents, and even persons passing through the country from doing any business with the sanctioned individuals or entities. The sanctions regime allows Washington to target financial institutions and banks that “engage in certain transactions or activities” with the sanctioned entities and individuals.

While Israel never officially took responsibility for the strike on the consulate building, Israeli officials told the New York Times that it had been in the works for months and deliberately targeted an IRGC general. The Jewish State has accused Iran of supporting Hamas and other militant groups that carry out attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.