ESCALATING

U.S. Hits Iran With New Sanctions

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday slapped sanctions on several Iranian companies, individuals, and officials accused of running an illegal currency-exchange scheme to fund a blacklisted elite military unit. In tandem with the United Arab Emirates, the Treasury Department singled out three companies and six individuals accused of funneling U.S. currency to the Quds Force, a wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, through front companies in the Emirates. “Countries around the world must be vigilant against Iran’s efforts to exploit their financial institutions to exchange currency and fund nefarious actions of the IRGC-QF and the world’s largest state sponsor of terror,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. The move came just two days after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and vowed to reimpose sanctions against Tehran, and just one day after Israel accused the Quds Force of launching a rocket attack against Israeli targets in the Golan Heights.