President Donald Trump on Monday morning authorized additional sanctions against the Iranian government in response to heightened military tensions in the Persian Gulf.
“Basically, this was something that was going to happen,” he told reporters attending the signing of the executive order in the Oval Office.
The sanctions are focused on blocking financial resources to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Specifically, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will impose sanctions against eight senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for their alleged roles in the recent oil tanker attacks and last week’s shooting down of a U.S. military drone.
“This action is a warning to officials at all levels of the IRGC and the rest of the Iranian regime that we will continue to sanction those who export violence, sabotage and terrorism,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.
Trump withdrew the U.S. from the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, in May 2018 and proceeded with unilateral sanctions against Iran. The president said the 2015 treaty “wasn’t properly done, but we’ll get it properly done.”
“We can’t let them have a nuclear weapon,” Trump added.