WASHINGTON—The Trump administration Thursday blacklisted 18 Iranian banks that remain unsanctioned under its economywide pressure campaign.
The push weeks before the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election aims to sever the few financial connections Tehran still has to the world by effectively blacklisting the entire sector.
Most of Iran’s financial sector has already been sanctioned, including its central bank. But proponents say that the action could financially asphyxiate the regime by freezing the few foreign currency flows the economy still has and needs to import goods needed to prevent a collapse.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the action showed the administration’s commitment to blocking Iran’s access to U.S. dollars. “Our sanctions programs will continue until Iran stops its support of terrorist activities and ends its nuclear program,” he said in a statement.
Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif condemned the sanctions.