The US Treasury targeted the governor of Iran’s central bank on Tuesday as the Trump administration ratcheted up sanctions in the wake of its decision to pull out of the nuclear deal. Washington’s threat to impose the “highest level” of punitive measures against Tehran has left EU signatories struggling to keep the multilateral accord alive. The Treasury imposed sanctions against Valiollah Seif and Ali Tarzali, another central bank official, for allegedly helping to move millions of dollars from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force to Lebanon’s Hizbollah, which the US considers a terrorist organisation.
“It is appalling, but not surprising, that Iran’s most senior banking official would conspire with the [Quds Force] to facilitate funding of terror groups like Hizbollah, and it undermines any credibility he could claim in protecting the integrity of the institution as a central bank governor,” said Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. The sanctions were the latest in a concerted effort by the US government to dismantle the financing networks allegedly used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Last week, Washington imposed sanctions against a United Arab Emirates-based currency exchange network that the US said was funneling millions of dollars to the Quds special forces.