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US President Donald Trump has slapped fresh sanctions on Iran as part of his "maximum pressure" campaign against the Middle Eastern nation. Trump's executive order on Monday targeted none other than Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his associates with financial sanctions.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump's order will lock up billions of additional dollars in Iranian assets.
Tehran - Washington - Standoff - Tensions - Fears
Tehran and Washington are currently locked in a bitter standoff, and escalating tensions have fueled fears of an unintended slide toward a military confrontation between the two sides, particularly after Iran shot down a US spy drone over the Persian Gulf last week.
The US has also beefed up its military presence in the region and blacklisted Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a "foreign terrorist organization." In response, Iran declared the US a "state sponsor of terrorism" and American forces in the Middle East and beyond as "terrorist groups."
Year - Trump - US - Landmark - Deal
Last year, Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the landmark nuclear deal that Iran and six world powers struck in 2015. He has since reimposed wide-ranging sanctions, aimed at putting an end to Iran's oil exports, crippling its main source of foreign exchange and forcing Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
How have US sanctions hit Iran?
US - Moves - Economy - Nation - Crude
The US moves have hit the Iranian economy hard. While the oil-rich nation's crude exports have been down, inflation and unemployment have spiraled.
Iran, which sits on the world's fourth-largest oil reserves and second-biggest gas reserves, shipped over 2.5 million barrels per day of crude in April 2018, the month before Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear deal. That figure was down to about 400,000 to 500,000 barrels per day in May, reported Reuters news agency, citing industry sources.
Lifting - Sanctions - Growth - Iran - Country
The lifting of international sanctions in 2016 spurred rapid growth in Iran, with the country's economy expanding by more than 12%...
(Excerpt) Read more at: DW.COM
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