Trump administration hits Iran's central bank with terror sanctions

Trump administration hits Iran's central bank with terror sanctions

The United States escalated its financial pressure on Iran Tuesday by slapping terror sanctions on the head of its central bank and barring anyone around the world from doing business with him.

The European members of the deal - France, the United Kingdom and Germany - are trying to keep it alive without the U.S. Yet it's unclear if that will be workable, because Trump has vowed to punish European companies that continue doing business with Iran despite reimposed U.S. sanctions. It also targeted Iraq's Al-Bilad Islamic Bank and its top two executives, and a liaison between IRGC and "Hezbollah", which Washington has designated an global terrorist group.

Iraq-based Al-Bilad Islamic Bank has also been included in the sanction list for allegedly moving millions of dollars on behalf of the IRGC to Hezbollah. The US said that the sanctions on Seif did not extend to Iran's central bank itself. On this case, the USA selected to additionally impose "secondary sanctions", which additionally apply to non-Individuals and non-U.S. firms.

Sometimes, when the USA punishes people with sanctions, it prohibits Individuals or US firms from doing enterprise with them. Any transactions that contain his signature might doubtlessly run afoul of the sanctions, creating a powerful deterrent to global governments or companies contemplating transactions involving Iran's central financial institution.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin) says Seif "covertly funneled" money from the Iran's Revolutionary Guards through al-Bilad Islamic Bank in Iraq to help Hezbollah. Those funds were then used to "enrich and support the violent and radical agenda of "Hezbollah", Treasury said.

The blacklisted head of Iraq's Al-Bilad Islamic Bank was named as Aras Habib, who ran in last weekend's general elections as a candidate on the slate of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, whose government has been supported by the United States and the global community.

Tuesday's action seeks to cut off what the USA called a "critical" banking network for Iran, and deny those blacklisted access to the global financial system.

On Thursday, the Treasury announced sanctions against a "large-scale" currency exchange network serving the Revolutionary Guards, hitting six individuals and three companies at the centre of the network.