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US to impose new sanctions on Iran after Israel attack

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen cautioned on Tuesday that the US plans to impose fresh sanctions on Iran in the coming days following its unprecedented assault on Israel. The measures are aimed at reducing Iran’s oil export capabilities.

Yellen stated during a press conference at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings in Washington that additional sanctions against Iran are expected soon. She refrained from disclosing specific sanctions tools but affirmed that all options to disrupt Iran’s terrorist financing are under consideration.

Yellen acknowledged previous actions by the Treasury and State Department to curb Iran’s “destabilizing” conduct by limiting its oil export capacity. While Iran continues to export some oil, Yellen hinted at the possibility of further actions without revealing specifics.

She disclosed efforts by the Treasury to seek assistance from China, G7 partners, and other major global suppliers to impede Iran’s oil exports and access to drone-related microelectronics, which Iran has allegedly used in attacks on Israel and supplied to Russia.

Surge in oil prices

A senior Treasury official informed reporters that the surge in oil prices primarily stems from geopolitical uncertainty rather than US sanctions. The official highlighted the necessity of engaging with major oil suppliers worldwide, including G7 countries and China, to constrain Iran’s access to goods used for weapon development.

In prepared remarks, Yellen condemned Iran’s recent attack on Israel and its support for militant groups across the Middle East, warning of potential economic ramifications. She emphasized the US strategy of utilizing financial sanctions to isolate Iran and disrupt its backing of proxy groups, including support for Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the Biden administration in January 2021, more than 500 individuals and entities linked to terrorism and terrorist financing by Iran and its proxies have been targeted by Treasury measures.

Yellen stressed the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by the recent conflict, highlighting the acute food insecurity and widespread displacement among the population. She urged swift action to alleviate the suffering, emphasizing that sanctions should not hinder life-saving aid efforts.

Additionally, Yellen mentioned the US’s use of sanctions to combat settler violence in the West Bank and its support for IMF programs in Jordan and Egypt.

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