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Trump Administration Hits Iran With Major New Sanctions, Retaliates for Missile Strike

Speaking from the White House Friday morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced new sanctions on sectors of the Iranian economy and Iranian officials. The sanctions, which are part of the administration's ongoing maximum pressure campaign, are aimed at stopping Iranian terrorism and preventing the regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon. 

"The President has been very clear, we will continue to apply economic sanctions until Iran stops its terrorist activities and commits to never having a nuclear weapon," Mnuchin said.

The new sanctions apply to the steel and textile industries, in addition to 17 Iranian metals producers and mining companies. Eight Iranian officials involved in the Iranian armed forces, the Basic militia and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been directly targeted sanctioned for involvement in terrorism, slaughtering innocent Iranian protestors in the streets and for launching the missile attack against U.S. troops stationed at Al Asad airbase in Iraq earlier this week. 

"They had the full intention of killing U.S. forces," Pompeo said about the missile attack, which was launched in retaliation for the killing of Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani. "As long as Iran's outlaw ways continue, we will continue to impose sanctions."

"We're striking at the heart of the Iranian regime's inner security apparatus," he continued. "The goal of our campaign is to deny Iran resources for its destructive foreign policy."

When asked about the imminence of attacks against U.S. Embassies or other American targets in the region from Soleimani, Pompeo again explained the threat and why he was taken off of the battlefield.

"It was very clear Qassem Soleimani was planning broad attacks against Americans," he said. "There was an imminent attack, there was active plotting." 

In addition, President Trump has signed an executive order that "targets additional sources of revenue used by the Iranian regime to fund and support its nuclear program, missile development, terrorism and terrorist proxy networks, and malign regional influence." 

“Today, I am holding the Iranian regime responsible for attacks against United States personnel and interests by denying it substantial revenue that may be used to fund and support its nuclear program, missile development, terrorism and terrorist proxy networks, and malign regional influence.  I have issued an Executive Order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against any individual or entity operating in the construction, manufacturing, textiles, or mining sectors of the Iranian economy or anyone assisting those who engage in this sanctioned conduct,” President Trump released in a statement. “This order will have a major impact on the Iranian economy, authorizing powerful secondary sanctions on foreign financial institutions. Iran continues to be the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.  The Iranian regime has threatened United States military service members, diplomats, and civilians, as well as the citizens and interests of our allies and partners, through military force and proxy groups.”  

The United States will continue to counter the Iranian regime’s destructive and destabilizing behavior.  Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.  These punishing economic sanctions will remain until the Iranian regime changes its behavior. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” he continued. 

Before the briefing, Pompeo conducted a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss Iran's shoot down of Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS 752 near Tehran. 


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