President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran’s banking sector, taking a major new step aimed at crippling the arch-rival’s economy.
The Treasury Department said it was designating 18 major Iranian banks, a step that could largely cut off the nation of 80 million people from the world’s financial system.
The Trump administration did not list specific accusations against most of the banks, instead declaring broadly that the entire Iranian financial sector may be used to support the government’s contested nuclear program and its “malign regional influence.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the action would “stop illicit access to US dollars.”
The Treasury Department said it was exempting transactions in humanitarian goods such as food and medicine.
But European diplomats say that US sanctions nonetheless have dire humanitarian consequences, with few institutions in other nations willing to take the risks of legal action in the world’s largest economy.
The Treasury Department said its sanctions will be effective in 45 days, giving companies time to wind down transactions in Iran.
Trump has pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” aimed at reining in Iran, the arch-rival of US allies Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The Trump administration has already moved to stop all Iranian oil exports and bolted from a deal negotiated under former president Barack Obama through which Iran curtailed its nuclear program.
HD Editors Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late last month in a speech to the United Nations praised US President Trump for holding Iran accountable for their aggression in the Middle East.
“We must all stand up to Iran, and President Trump deserves praise for doing exactly that,” he said.
Netanyahu commended Trump for quickly leaving the Iran Nuclear Deal upon being elected and also sanctioning the Islamic Republic.
“Thankfully, President Trump recognized the disastrous nuclear deal for what it was, and he acted. He restored US sanctions, forced countries to choose between doing business with America, or doing business with Iran,” the Priminster told the council.
He then urged the UN to stand with the US against Iran. “Israel calls upon all members of the Security Council, stand with the United States against Iran’s aggression, stand with it in insisting that Iran end its nuclear weapons program once and for all, stand with the United States in confronting the greatest danger to peace in our region.”
Iranian aggression and funding of terror have a direct impact on the Jewish State of Israel. Those countries that refuse to hold the dangerous regime accountable for both their attacks in the region and violations of nuclear agreements are putting the safety of Israel at risk.
In Genesis 12:3, God calls on all of the peoples and nations to stand with and bless the nation of Israel, those that do, the verse says, will in return be blessed. This same passage of Scripture also gives a warning to those that come against or curse the nation of Israel, explaining that they will be cursed by God.
Genesis 12:3 KJV – “And I will bless them that bless thee [Israel], and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”