Updated Apr 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden admin unveils new sanctions on Iran for "unprecedented" Israel attack

Yellen speaks on stage

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a press conference amid the IMF-World Bank Group spring meetings. Photo: SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday imposed new sanctions on Iran's drone, steel and auto industries, the Treasury Department announced.

The big picture: The Biden administration wants to punish Iran for its unprecedented missile and drone attack against Israel without escalating the situation militarily.

  • The sanctions were coordinated with the United Kingdom, which is also targeting Iran's drone program, as well as its ballistic missile program, the Treasury Department said in a release.

What they are saying: "In consultation with partners and allies, we are taking swift and decisive action to respond to Iran's unprecedented attack on Israel," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in the release.

  • "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.
  • Yellen previewed the sanctions earlier this week, Axios first reported Tuesday.

In a statement, President Biden said the U.S. is "committed to acting collectively to increase economic pressure on Iran."

  • "I've directed my team, including the Department of the Treasury, to continue to impose sanctions that further degrade Iran's military industries," Biden stated.
  • He added that "our allies and partners have or will issue additional sanctions and measures to restrict Iran's destabilizing military programs."

Driving the news: The sanctions announced Thursday will target 16 individuals and two entities involved in Iran's drone production.

  • Five companies that provide materials for "Iran's Khuzestan Steel Company (KSC)," will also be listed, according to the release.
  • In addition, three subsidiaries of the Bahman Group, an Iranian automaker, will also be sanctioned

Zoom out: Israel considered conducting a retaliatory strike against Iran on Monday but decided to hold off, Axios' Barak Ravid reported.

  • The U.S. is concerned that continued counterattacks could trigger wider regional escalation.

Between the lines: Biden has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to exercise military restraint.

Editor's note: This story was updated with a statement from President Biden.

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