The Trump administration has blacklisted virtually all of Iran’s financial sector, dealing another blow to an economy that is already reeling under US sanctions. The move will deepen tensions with European nations and others over Iran.

Thursday’s move hits 18 Iranian banks that escaped the bulk of reimposed US sanctions and, subjects foreign, non-Iranian financial institutions to penalties for doing business with them. Thus, it cuts them off from the international financial system.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said today’s action to identify the financial sector and sanction eighteen major Iranian banks reflects our commitment to stop access to US dollars. Our sanctions will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear programmes. To support the Iranian people, today’s actions will continue to allow for humanitarian transactions.

Treasury said the action targets 16 Iranian banks for their role in the country’s financial sector, one bank for owned or controlled by another sanctioned Iranian bank, and one military-affiliated bank.

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