The US has imposed more sanctions on Iran’s banks, financial institutions, and companies, ahead of sweeping American restrictions from November 5.
The latest sanctions, announced by the US Treasury on Tuesday, including Bank Mellat, Mehr Eqtesad Bank, and a multibillion-dollar financial network supporting the Basij paramilitary force, linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The Treasury claimed the Basij “recruits, trains, and deploys child soldiers to fight in IRGC-fueled conflicts across the region”, with the network of at least 20 corporations and financial institutions and interests in the automotive, mining, metals, and banking sectors.
The measures targeted firms linked to investment, commodities, and engineering including the Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company and the Mobarakeh Steel Company.
In May, Donald Trump withdrew the US from the July 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia) and ordered the expansion of sanctions.
The first stage was imposed in August, affecting Iran’s metals, coal, industrial software, and auto industries and Tehran’s access to the US dollar. The comprehensive sanctions in November will target the energy and financial sectors.
Iran is facing difficulties with production, trade, investment, and employment, and its oil exports have fallen 40% since April. The International Monetary Fund has reversed a projection of 4% growth and is forecasting a 1.5% contraction of GDP this year and 3.6% in 2019.