What Happened: The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against Iran's Central Bank on Sept. 20. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Washington had now removed the last source of funds for Tehran after President Donald Trump vowed to issue new sanctions against Iran earlier this week.
Why It Matters: Although the sanctions limit the connections between Iran's Central Bank and the global financial system, the new measures are unlikely to have an outsized effect on the country's economy due to the extensive sanctions already in place against the Islamic republic.
Background: The United States routinely uses sanctions as its primary tool to weaken the Iranian economy and seek to adjust Tehran's behavior as part of its maximum pressure campaign against the country. Washington is currently weighing additional responses following a Sept. 14 attack against Saudi oil infrastructure that the United States attributes to Iran.
- Short on Options, Iran Calls Trump's Bluff (Sept. 19, 2019)
- Saudi Oil Attacks: What We Know So Far (Sept. 19, 2019)
- Saudi Oil Infrastructure Offers a Target-Rich Environment for Iran (Sept. 19, 2019)