US, Gulf allies sanction Iran and Hezbollah

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz welcomes sanctions on IRGC and Hezbollah: The right way to fight Iranian aggression.

Elad Benari ,

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard
Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard

The United States and six Gulf allies on Wednesday announced sanctions on 25 entities associated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorist organization.

The move was welcomed by Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) who wrote on Twitter in Hebrew, “I applaud the decision by the US and the Persian Gulf countries to impose further sanctions on Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.”

“Just as it came up in my conversation with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, this is the right way to fight Iranian aggression,” he added.

The sanctions were set by Riyadh-based Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, a two-year-old group that includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in addition to the United States, noted AFP.

They targeted companies supporting the Basij Resistance Force, a subordinate group of the Revolutionary Guard, that the Treasury said are used "to oppress domestic opposition with brutal displays of violence" and supply fighters to regional conflicts.

Among the 25 was Iranian Bank Mellat and mining, manufacturing and investment firms that allegedly support the Basij, according to AFP.

Four of those listed were individuals running Hezbollah's operations in Iraq, the Treasury said.

All 25 have previously been named in US Treasury sanctions announced in 2018.

"The TFTC's coordinated disruption of the financial networks used by the Iranian regime to fund terrorism is a powerful demonstration of Gulf unity," said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.

"This action demonstrates the unified position of the Gulf nations and the United States that Iran will not be allowed to escalate its malign activity in the region," added Mnuchin, who addressed a business forum in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The US has increased the pressure on Iran over the past year and a half, ever since President Donald Trump withdrew from 2015 nuclear deal in May of 2018.

Last month Trump announced that he had ordered a “substantial increase” in sanctions on Iran.