On Tuesday, the Trump administration slapped new sanctions on Iran, continuing to ramp up the “maximum pressure campaign” in its final days. The new measures target Iran’s metal and steel sectors.
The Treasury Department blacklisted 12 Iranian producers of steel and other metals, as well as a Chinese firm the US accused of facilitating the Iranian production of metals.
Also on Tuesday, the US Justice Department announced that it seized $7 million of Iranian funds that will be “allocated to provide compensation to American victims of international state-sponsored terrorism.”
While Iran is listed as a state sponsor of terror by the US, no terror attacks on US citizens in recent history could be tied to Tehran. The only example the DOJ used was the 1979 hostage crisis. The DOJ said the funds were seized from individuals who transferred Iranian assets and subverted US sanctions.
The increase in sanctions on Iran could be an effort by the Trump administration to sabotage Joe Biden’s efforts to restore the 2015 nuclear deal. In November, President Trump’s envoy to Iran, Elliot Abrams, said the US will impose new sanctions on Iran “until the end” of the Trump administration.