The United States plans new sanctions against Iran

The United States plans to impose new sanctions on Iran in the coming days to punish it for attacks on Israel over the weekend, US officials said on Tuesday.

Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, said in a statement that the sanctions will target Iran's “missile and drone program” and entities that support the country's military groups.

“These new sanctions and other measures will continue to apply sustained pressure to contain and degrade Iran’s military capability and effectiveness and address the full range of its problematic behaviors,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan did not specify how sanctions might undermine Iran's weapons programs, but a Treasury official, who declined to be named to discuss private deliberations, said the United States was looking for ways to cut off access to 'Iran to the military components it uses to build weapons such as the drones used against Israel.

Iran fired more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel on Saturday night in retaliation for an Israeli airstrike that killed several senior Iranian military officers in Syria earlier this month. Most of the missiles and drones were intercepted and shot down by Israel and its allies, including the United States and Britain.

The United States has imposed broad sanctions on Iran over the years as part of a broad effort to put pressure on its economy and prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

At a news conference Tuesday ahead of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, Janet L. Yellen, Treasury Secretary, suggested that the Biden administration is considering ways to further limit Iranian oil exports.

Yellen noted that the Biden administration had already targeted more than 500 Iranian individuals and entities associated with terrorism financing over the past three years.

“I fully expect that we will take additional sanctions measures against Iran in the coming days,” Yellen said.

Yellen said the United States generally does not disclose details of sanctions before imposing them, but signaled that the Biden administration is focusing on Iranian oil, which is a major source of government revenue.

“We have worked to diminish Iran's ability to export oil,” Yellen said. “Clearly Iran continues to export oil: we could do more.”

The United States will also discuss Iran with Group of 7 finance ministers, who will be in Washington this week. According to the Treasury official, those talks will focus on how to coordinate sanctions to cut off Iran's supply of military components for weapons such as the Shahed drones it has deployed against Israel.

The United States will also discuss with other countries, including China, whether to stop supplying Iran with weapons or technology that it has used to destabilize the Middle East.

Yellen noted that since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 last year, the United States has targeted Iran with more than 100 sanctions intended to debilitate its ballistic missile supply networks and the terrorist groups it finances .

Peter Baker contributed reporting from Washington.

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