The US sanctions slapped Monday on Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials will block “literally billions” in Iranian assets, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
The sanctions, which US President Donald Trump signed in an Oval Office appearance with Mnuchin, target eight top military commanders as well as Khamenei.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also will be blacklisted “later this week,” Mnuchin said.
Some of the sanctions had been planned in advance, while others were added in retaliation for the downing last week of a US Global Hawk surveillance drone, according to Mnuchin.
Trump had considered a military strike after the drone was downed Thursday, then reversed himself minutes before it was to be carried out. He has said he changed his mind after learning that as many as 150 people could be killed.
Among those sanctioned Monday was Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval commander Ali Reza Tangsiri, who the US said had threatened in February to close the Strait of Hormuz, crucial to global oil trade.
Also blacklisted was Aerospace Force commander Amirali Hajizadeh, whom Washington blames for the downing of the drone. Iran says it was shot down after entering its air space, but the US insists it was in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
The sanctions largely freeze their targets out of much of the global financial system, blocking them from US-dollar-denominated transactions and barring international banks from moving money on their behalf while also freezing any assets under US jurisdiction.
‘Coming out as pro-fascist’: GOP’s Matt Gaetz slammed after he suggests hunting down ‘Antifa’ like ‘those in the Middle East’
As unrest continues to wrack American cities this Monday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) took to Twitter and decided to contribute some inflammatory rhetoric to an already volatile situation.
"Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?" he tweeted.
Unsurprisingly, Gaetz's choice of words riled his critics in Twitter.
Sure Matt. Can we hunt down white supremacists too? https://t.co/4tNV7iEYcr
Trump’s new order: Lawlessness mixed with brutal clampdown
Despite headlines and news reports replete with loaded terms like "looting" and "riots," the real story of this past weekend was not the behavior of people on the streets protesting police violence. It was a story of numerous local police departments, emboldened by a wannabe fascist president, turning brownshirt against the ordinary people they are supposedly there to serve and protect. Make no mistake about it: This is a police uprising against American citizens. That's the true narrative.
As my colleagues at Salon spent the weekend documenting, the police assaulted, arrested, shot and gassed journalists, and even ran over peaceful protesters in an outburst of rage at the public for objecting to unchecked police power. In doing so, they were, egged on by Donald Trump. Police in Minneapolis set the tone by using tear gas against peaceful protesters on Tuesday, and ever since cops across the country have been doing everything they could to shift the headlines away from "protest" to "riots" by attacking protesters until they fight back or turn to property destruction.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich unloads on ‘unfit’ Trump — calls Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham cowards for refusing to act
In an interview with The Nation, legendary San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich railed against President Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
“The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism, and we’ve seen it all before, but nothing changes," he told The Nation. "That’s why these protests have been so explosive. But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there will never be change. And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem forever, because it’s been our privilege to be able to avoid it. That also has to change.”