Trump announces new sanctions against Iranian metal industry

"The United States will continue to counter the Iranian regime's destructive and destabilizing behavior," the president said in a statement.

President Donald Trump speaks as he welcomes Paraguay s President Mario Abdo Benitez to the White House in the Oval Office on December 13, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (photo credit: STHANLEE B. MIRADOR/SIPA USA/TNS)
President Donald Trump speaks as he welcomes Paraguay s President Mario Abdo Benitez to the White House in the Oval Office on December 13, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
(photo credit: STHANLEE B. MIRADOR/SIPA USA/TNS)
WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order on Friday, authorizing new sanctions against the Iranian metal industry, as well as against senior regime officials.

According to the Treasury Department announcement, the action includes the designations of Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council; Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, deputy chief of staff of Iran's armed forces; and Gholamreza Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' Basij militia (who doesn't seem to be related to recently assassinated Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani).

"In addition, Treasury designated 17 Iranian metals producers and mining companies; a network of three China- and Seychelles-based entities; and a vessel involved in the purchase, sale, and transfer of Iranian metals products, as well as in the provision of critical metals production components to Iranian metal producers," the department added in a statement.

"This order will have a major impact on the Iranian economy," Trump said in a statement released on Friday. "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," the president continued. "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."

"Maximum pressure on the Iranian regime continues," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted. "The US is sanctioning eight senior Iranian leaders and numerous entities in the metals industry in response to Iran's attacks against US forces and interests. Our sanctions will continue until Iran changes its behavior."

The Christians United for Israel (CUFI) Action Fund said in a statement: “We applaud the Trump administration for imposing sanctions on additional sectors of the Iranian economy and welcome the designations of senior individuals in Iran’s national security establishment as well as individuals and companies associated with manufacturing and metal production.
“Only this maximum pressure campaign can diminish the likelihood that the Islamic Republic acquires a nuclear weapon and increase the likelihood the Iranian people will one day be able to take their country back from Tehran’s tyrants,” the statement reads.