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Analysts: Iran’s economy, ballistic missile program to be hit hard by US sanctions

Analysts: Iran’s economy, ballistic missile program to be hit hard by US sanctions
posted onMay 11, 2019

The announcement of new sanctions issued this week on Iran’s metals sector by the United States are to hit the Islamic Republic’s economy hard and in turn hinder its ballistic missile program according to analysts, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon.

US President Donald Trump made the announcement on the anniversary of America’s withdrawal from the historic nuclear deal this week last year, which he has called “the worst deal ever” with the first sanctions going into effect in November mainly on Iran’s oil exports.

The newest sanctions represent “the first significant expansion of sectoral sanctions since 2013” according to the Foundation for Defense Democracies (FDD) expert policy analysts.

The new round of sanctions will target the aluminum, iron, steel and copper exports which bring in billions of dollars for the Iranian regime as well as putting pressure on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who play a significant role in controlling Iran’s economy, particularly the metals sector for military use.

"This [new] designation significantly increases pressure on Iran's economy by targeting industries from which Iran derives significant income," the FDD stated. "It also enhances the administration's targeting of materials necessary to support Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”

These sectors play a crucial role in bringing in financial resources to support Iran’s economy, especially on enhancing its nuclear capabilities and producing ballistic missiles.

"The industrial metals sector is also a supplier of raw and processed materials for military uses, including as part of Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear program; the sector is heavily penetrated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps," based on FDD's analysis. "Iran has large reserves of copper—the second largest in the world by some estimates—which is used for reduced‐visibility treatments in missiles to protect them from detection and interception."

Iran brought in roughly $6 billion for its metal exports between March 2018 and March 2019.

"The industrial metal sectors now subject to U.S. sanctions—iron and steel, aluminum, and copper—generated $5.5 billion of exports, or 94 percent of the total for industrial metals," the FDD reported.

"Iran also exported $207 million of aluminum, comprising 3.5 percent of the total export value,” the FDD stated, adding that almost 79 percent of export value comes from industrial metal exports with 12 percent coming from copper exports.

The Trump administration’s sanctions on the country’s vital exports appear to be an attempt to choke the Islamic Republic’s economy, especially those industries closely related to Iran’s military industry.