The US government has announced a new set of sanctions to be imposed on 20 individuals or entities in Iran that are connected to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The measures are designed to cut these entities off from the American banking system and will have global repercussions.
The sanctions will cut off more than 20 Iranian entities, including individuals and companies owned or controlled by the Revolutionary Guards, from the American financial system and will likely have ripple effects throughout the international banking community.
The Quds Force, a part of the Guard Corps that Washington accuses of provided weapons, including powerful bombmaking materiel blamed for the deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and other banks will be identified as "specially designated global terrorist" groups for their activities in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East, the officials said.
Rice said the new sanctions will "provide a powerful deterrent" for companies in the United States and abroad to sever business relationships with Iran.
Paulson said that Iran channels millions of dollars a year to help bankroll terrorist acts.
"It is increasingly likely that if you are doing business with Iran you are doing business with the IRGC," Paulson said, referring to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The sanctions also cover three Iran state-owned banks, including Bank Melli.
The actions mean that any assets found in the United States belonging to the designated groups must be frozen. Americans are also forbidden from doing business with them.
Importantly, the designations also put companies outside the United States on notice that doing business with the designated groups could be problematic.
It will be interesting to see if France now follows suit – or any of the European countries, for that matter. For now, this is just about as much pressure as the US can accomplish alone.