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Iran slams US 'addiction to sanctions' after new bans target key banks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (AFP file photo)

The United States is becoming increasingly addicted to sanctions, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned, after Washington imposed fresh sanctions on a number of Iranian entities.

"US addiction to sanctions is out of control," Zarif wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. "Iranian private bank key to food/medicine import is designated because of alleged EIGHT degrees of separation w/ another arbitrary target. In comparison, all humans on planet are connected by SIX degrees of separation. You do the math."

In another tweet, the Iranian foreign minister said the new sanctions violate a recent International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling and amount to "utter disregard" for the rule of law and human rights of "an entire people."

On Tuesday, the US Treasury announced fresh sanctions on Iranian banks, including Bank Mellat and Mehr Eqtesad Bank.

Also included on the list were Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company, Esfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Company, and other companies linked to investment, commodities and engineering.

The US Treasury's sanctions further targeted what it called a multibillion-dollar financial network that supported the Basij Resistance Force affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

US President Donald Trump announced in May that he was pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The deal, signed between Iran and six world powers -- the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany -- lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its peaceful nuclear program.

Following Trump's decision to stop implementing the deal, Washington reinstated sanctions removed under the agreement while imposing new ones against the Islamic Republic.

A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran's energy sector and financial transactions.

The Trump administration has also introduced punitive measures — known as secondary sanctions — against third countries doing business with Iran.

Unaffected by the US pressure, however, other signatories of the deal say they would not stop doing business with Iran.

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