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White House announces new sanctions following Iran attack

via PBS NewsHour

The Biden administration has announced new sanctions against Iran in response to its attacks on Israel.

White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan stated the US would impose sanctions targeting Iran’s missile and drone programs as well as entities supporting the IRGC and defense ministry.

Biden is “coordinating with allies and partners, including the G7, and with bipartisan leaders in Congress, on a comprehensive response,” Sullivan said.

“In the coming days, the United States will impose new sanctions targeting Iran, including its missile and drone program as well as new sanctions against entities supporting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran’s Defense Ministry,” he added.

“In addition, we continue to work through the Department of Defense and U.S. Central Command to further strengthen and expand the successful integration of air and missile defense and early warning systems across the Middle East to further erode the effectiveness of Iran’s missile and UAV capabilities.”

“Over the last three years, in addition to missile and drone-related sanctions, the United States has sanctioned over 600 individuals and entities connected to terrorism, terrorist financing and other forms of illicit trade, horrific human rights abuses, and support for proxy terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Kataib Hezbollah,” Sullivan stated.

“The pressure will continue. We will not hesitate to continue to take action, in coordination with allies and partners around the world, and with Congress, to hold the Iranian government accountable for its malicious and destabilizing actions.”

This comes after criticism from Republicans over the administration previously extending a waiver allowing Iran access to $10 billion in escrowed funds in 2023 and unlocking $6 billion in sanctions relief in a 2020 prisoner exchange.

“Under President Trump, Iran was broke,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn said. “President Biden gifted them billions of dollars and then naively said ‘don’t.’”

“‘Don’t’ is not a foreign policy. Joe Biden’s policies have funded Iran’s attack on Israel,” Blackburn added.

While the administration maintains Iran has not accessed any unfrozen funds, Republicans argue Biden has naively funded Iran’s actions.

The sanctions are part of an effort to contain Iran’s military capabilities and address its problematic behavior.

“It’s not that we’re not enforcing sanctions. We have been enforcing them. As a matter of fact, we’ve added sanctions. We’ve sanctioned 400 entities in Iran just in the beginning of this administration, let alone the sanctions that came before us,” White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said.

“As for the fungibility, again, that money was never going to be tapped by the Iranian regime,” he said. “They were never going to see it themselves. It was always going to go to vendors that we approved to go to buy humanitarian assistance and medical and food… directly to the Iranian people. The regime was never going to see that or feel that, and they haven’t asked for it.”

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