New Iranian Sanctions against U.S., UK

Iran Announces New Sanctions against U.S., UK 

  • On May 2, Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against several U.S. and UK individuals and entities over their support for Israel in the Gaza war. 
  • This is not the first time Iran has issued sanctions against the U.S. 
    • In April 2022, Iran sanctioned 24 U.S. individuals, including officials who helped expand sanctions against Tehran in the Obama and Trump administrations.
    • In January 2022, Iran sanctioned 52 Americans accused of playing a role in the 2020 assassination of Qassem Soleimani. 

U.S. Sanctions on Iran 

  • The U.S. has imposed additional sanctions against Iran amid heightened regional tensions during the war in Gaza.
    • For example, last month, the U.S. and UK issued new sanctions after Iran’s attack on Israel, targeting individuals and entities involved in Iranian drone production. 
  • Existing U.S. sanctions on Tehran – which often target the country’s financial and banking sectors, oil exports, trade, weapons development, and nuclear capabilities – ban nearly all trade, block Iran’s assets in the U.S., and ban U.S. assistance or arms sales to Iran. 
    • Experts say American sanctions are causing economic chaos and contributing to the decline of the Iranian rial and soaring inflation. 
    • Iran’s dire economic situation was cited as a factor in the record-low voter turnout in its most recent parliamentary elections. 
  • Iran works to circumvent U.S. sanctions by using cryptocurrency and operating through an illicit global network of companies, banks, and exchange houses that facilitate transactions on its behalf.

The Biden Administration & Sanctions on Iran

  • The Biden administration has received domestic criticism for allegedly relaxing sanctions on Iran. Examples include: 
    • In March, the White House renewed a sanctions waiver that “allows Iraq to purchase electricity from Iran for billions of dollars and pay for it by transferring hard currencies to accounts in third countries such as Oman and Qatar.”
    • In August 2023, the White House unfroze $6 billion in Iranian oil assets in exchange for the release of six U.S. hostages held in Iran.
    • In February 2022, amid indirect American-Iranian nuclear deal talks, the White House restored sanctions waivers to Iran, which “allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to carry out non-proliferation work to effectively make it harder for Iranian nuclear sites to be used for weapons development.”
  • While critics say some of these funds were used in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, there is no evidence of a direct connection between sanctions relief and attacks on Israel. 



(Banner image: SETA)

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