Iran shot down a drone that cost American taxpayers dearly. In the long run, however, Iran might end up paying a far steeper cost. The Trump administration unveiled a new round of “hard-hitting” sanctions that will deny Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other high ranking officials access to various financial instruments.
Speaking on the new sanctions, Trump said:
“The supreme leader of Iran is one who ultimately is responsible [for] the hostile conduct of the regime. He’s respected within his country. His office oversees the regime’s most brutal instruments including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”
Treasure Secretary Steve Mnuchin claims that the new sanctions will lock up billions of dollars in assets. Reportedly, Khamenei controls a global empire with at least $200 billion in holdings, including energy and real estate investments.
Iran’s state media has labeled the move as a sign of “America’s desperation.” Further, a senior Iranian official claimed that sanctions and war are “two sides of the same coin” and claimed that Iran would not be forced into negotiations.
Other Iranian officials will likely be hit with sanctions, including Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who drew the administration’s ire after posting:
.@realDonaldTrump is 100% right that the US military has no business in the Persian Gulf. Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of US and the world. But it's now clear that the #B_Team is not concerned with US interests—they despise diplomacy, and thirst for war.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 24, 2019
Trump administration officials claim that they are still open to negotiating with Iran. After the announcement of sanctions, however, Iran has claimed that negotiations are now off the table.