The United States on Thursday slapped fresh sanctions on Iran's financial sector, targeting 18 Iranian banks in an effort to further shut Iran out of the global banking system as Washington ramps up pressure on Tehran weeks ahead of the US election, Reuters reports.
In an announcement posted on its website, the US Treasury Department also identified the financial sector of the Iranian economy pursuant to Executive Order 13902, though it said the prohibitions did not apply to transactions for the provision of agricultural commodities, food, medicine or medical devices to Iran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of targeting Iran's "remaining channels to pay for food and medicine" in the midst of a pandemic through new sanctions announced on Thursday.
"Amid Covid 19 pandemic, U.S. regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine," Zarif said on Twitter. "But conspiring to starve a population is a crime against humanity."