US steps up pressure on Iran with new round of sanctions
12 May 2018
The announcement by the Treasury Department Thursday of a new round of sanctions against Iran is part of US imperialism’s aggressive drive to isolate and subjugate Tehran. As well as threatening to unleash an economic crisis in Iran, the sanctions, unveiled just two days after Trump blew up the Iran nuclear accord, also further exacerbated tensions between Washington and the European powers.
The sanctions, presented in a statement posted on the Treasury Department’s website, target six individuals and three companies allegedly tied to the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) and its Quds force. Accusing the IRGC of “malign activity,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also blamed Iran’s central bank for assisting the Revolutionary Guards to obtain US dollars through a currency exchange network. Mnuchin added, “We are intent on cutting off IRGC revenue streams wherever their source and whatever their destination.”
Coming just hours after Israel’s aggressive assault on various Iranian positions in Syria early Thursday, which Tel Aviv justified by claiming the Quds force fired a handful of rockets at Israeli territory, the Treasury Department’s sanctions make clear that Washington is steering towards a direct military confrontation with Tehran. The Israeli bombardment, involving 28 warplanes, claimed the lives of as many as 18 foreigners, all of whom were likely Iranian personnel. Even though the Iranian “attack” followed a missile strike by Israel late Tuesday that claimed the lives of eight Iranians near Damascus, marking the third time in less than a month that Israel had caused Iranian casualties, the White House warned Iran in a statement also…