Biden slaps new sanctions on Iran after attack on Israel

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a fresh round of economic sanctions on Iran in response to its missile attack on Israel as the White House seeks to defuse a broader military conflict in the Middle East.

The new package of penalties is aimed at disrupting Iran’s production of drones that were used in the attack. They also target Iran’s steel industry and automotive companies that supply the country’s military.

In a statement, Biden said the sanctions were a response to “one of the largest missile and drone attacks the world has ever seen against Israel.”

“I’ve directed my team, including the Department of the Treasury, to continue to impose sanctions that further degrade Iran’s military industries,” Biden said.

The U.K. also imposed new sanctions on Iran in coordination with the U.S. Biden said other “allies and partners have or will issue additional sanctions and measures to restrict Iran’s destabilizing military programs.”

In the U.S., the sanctions come as Congress is debating additional ways to financially punish Iran for its attack on Israel. The Republican-led House this week passed a series of sanctions bills, including a bipartisan measure that would target China’s purchase of Iranian oil.

The Treasury Department said the latest sanctions target 16 people and two companies that enable Iran’s production of unmanned aerial vehicles, including the manufacturers of engines that power the type of drones used in last weekend’s attack against Israel.

The sanctions also include five companies that provide materials to Iran’s steel industry, which the Treasury Department said generates billions of dollars each year for the country.

In addition, the Biden administration said it was imposing new export controls aimed at restricting Iran’s ability to obtain commercial grade microelectronics.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the administration was “taking swift and decisive action to respond to Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel.”

“We’re using Treasury’s economic tools to degrade and disrupt key aspects of Iran’s malign activity, including its UAV program and the revenue the regime generates to support its terrorism,” Yellen said in a statement.

Iran last weekend launched more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel in retaliation for a deadly Israeli airstrike on Iran’s consulate in Syria. Israel, along with the U.S. and other countries, shot down the vast majority of the missiles and drones, averting widespread damage.

Israel is weighing a counterstrike on Iran. The Biden administration and other world leaders are hoping to convince Israel to choose a limited response to avoid a spiraling armed conflict in the region.

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