New Trump Sanctions Targets Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei And His Assets

Iran Sanctions
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television (Photo: Reuters / Caren Firouz)

In response to the recently shot down US drone and "many other things," US President Donald Trump announced that he will be imposing new sanctions that will be targeting Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. Trump singled out the Iranian leader as he is believed to be directly involved in the recent hostilities conducted by the regime.

Iran's foreign ministry responded to Trump's threats and claimed that the US despises diplomacy. In a post posted on Twitter, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused Trump and his administration of having a clear "thirst for war."

Trump's executive order would essentially freeze billions of dollars in Iranian assets both in its home country and abroad. US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin revealed in a recent interview that the plan to lock up Iran's assets was already an option that was put on the table weeks before the country's drone was shot down in the Gulf last week.

Apart from Iran's supreme leader, the planned sanction will be targeting up to eight senior Iranian commanders. The persons of interest are reportedly holding top positions in the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, which are believed to have been part of the recent violent activities in the region.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is effectively the highest power in Iran. He has full control of Iran's military and of its politics. The country's Supreme Leader also holds the ultimate power in the country's economy. Ali Khamenei is the head of Setad, an organization that was established with the property it had confiscated after the 1979 revolution.

The company is one of Iran's biggest corporations with holdings estimated to be worth around $95 billion.

Setad is currently under US sanctions, but Trump wants to take things a little bit further this time around by targeting any person or company that is linked to it.

The US believes that its continually tightening sanctions may eventually force Iran to open its doors to negotiations.

The executive order also targets foreign financial institutions that directly and indirectly assist in transactions involving Iran's supreme leader and his offices. The particular sanctions or consequences that will be imposed on these companies were not detailed. The move is aimed at fully denying Iran's leadership from accessing its financial resources. According to Mnuchin, the planned sanctions will be fully rolled out starting this week.

During his announcement, Trump mentioned that he was willing to lift the sanctions on Iran only if it agreed to end its nuclear program and curb its missile productions. Trump also demanded that Iran stop supporting terrorist groups and other Arab militias.

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