In New Iran Sanctions, US Targets Khamenei-Controlled Foundation

The United States on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on Iran, specifically targeting an organization founded by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.The U.S. Treasury said in a statement it was blacklisting economic conglomerate Bonyad Mostazafan.“Bonyad Mostazafan is ostensibly a charitable organization charged with providing benefits to the poor and oppressed. Its holdings are expropriated from the Iranian people and are used by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to enrich his office, reward his political allies and persecute the regime’s enemies,” the Treasury said.The sanctions target 10 individuals and 50 subsidiaries of the foundation in sectors including mining and finance, freezing many of their U.S. assets.Wednesday’s sanctions were the latest move in the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.Since his election in 2016, U.S. President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear agreement signed in 2015 by former President Barack Obama and imposed tough sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.The United States and Iran began 2020 on the verge of war. The January 3 U.S.-targeted killing of revered Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, whom Washington accused of masterminding numerous attacks in the region, sparked fury in Tehran.It retaliated with missile strikes on U.S. bases in Iraq. No U.S. service personnel were killed, and conflict was averted, but Trump kept up the pressure.

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