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US imposes sanctions on Iran’s central bank and wealth fund

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The United States imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran on Friday, including a central bank and a development fund, following an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities days ago that Washington and Riyadh blamed on the Islamic Republic.

US President Donald Trump briefed reporters at the White House on Friday after announcing his plan to intensify sanctions a few days ago on Twitter.

The Treasury said in a statement that the sanctions targeted the Central Bank of Iran, the Iran Fund for National Development, and the Accreditation of Trade Pars, which US officials say was used to conceal remittances for Iranian military purchases.

Asked about possible military action against Iran in response to Aramco’s attack, Trump said the United States was always ready and that a military strike was always possible. Trump called Friday’s actions “the highest level of sanctions”.

Iran has denied any role in the September 14 attack that rocked world oil markets and heightened tension between Washington and Tehran.

Speaking to reporters at the White House next to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Trump said he wanted a political solution to the conflict after the Aramco attack.

The administration has imposed a wide range of sanctions on Iran since Trump withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.

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