Just weeks after the late Israeli shipping tycoon Sami Ofer was implicated by the US State Department for shipping ties with Iran, the cabinet decided on Sunday to expand its economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The State Department’s blacklisting of The Ofer Brothers Group for selling an oil tanker to Iran embarrassed the government, which for years has led calls for stricter international sanctions against the country.

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The cabinet decision, according to a government statement, “includes a series of administrative and regulatory measures that will place Israel at the international forefront regarding the imposition of sanctions on Iran.

These steps will be advanced in the coming days by the various relevant ministries.”

Among the sanctions is to restrict state contact with companies that trade with Iran, the statement said.

Work on drawing up these sanctions has reportedly been underway for months, long before the Ofer scandal broke in late May.

A new national directorate will be established to oversee these sanctions. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the cabinet that the committee’s recommendations were “an important step in the struggle against Iran’s nuclear program. These recommendations ensure that Israel will stand alongside other countries at the forefront of sanctions against Iran, in order to cause the Iranian regime to abandon its plans to develop nuclear weapons.”

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