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Israeli Defense Chief: US Sanctions Deal a 'Critical Blow' to Iran in Syria

© AP Photo / Sepahnews via APIn this photo released on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are fired from city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State group in Syria.
In this photo released on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, missiles are fired from city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State group in Syria. - Sputnik International
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On Monday, the second round of US sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector, shipping, ship-building and financial industries enters into force.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has welcomed the new package of anti-Tehran sanctions, introduced by President Donald Trump’s administration, describing the restrictions as a “critical blow” to the Islamic Republic’s position in the region.

“President Trump’s bold decision is the sea-change the Middle East has been waiting for. In a single move, the United States is dealing a critical blow to Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and Yemen. President Trump, you’ve done it again! Thank you,” Lieberman said on Monday.

READ MORE: Up is Down: Trump Oil Sanctions on Iran Likely to Increase Tehran Sales — Report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also expressed gratitude to POTUS, while Noam Katz, who serves as deputy director general and head of Public Diplomacy in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called on other nations to support the sanctions.

“Israel supports the US sanctions against Iran, other states must support them as well in order to deter Iranian threat,” Katz told reporters.

Israel has been particularly concerned with Iran’s alleged increasing military presence in Syria, with high-level officials alarmed over Tehran’s growing influence in the region.

An Iranian woman holds her national flag as she walks past an anti-US mural depicting the Statue of Liberty on the wall of the former US embassy in Tehran (File) - Sputnik International
'Economic War': Iran Vows to Continue Selling Oil as US Sanctions Take Effect
The Islamic Republic, for its part, has on numerous occasions dismissed the allegations, saying that it has only been sending military advisers to train troops loyal to Damascus, as Iran supports President Bashar Assad in the fight against terrorist groups in the country.

The United States imposed a new set of sanctions on Iran’s oil sector on November 5, with a stated goal to reduce its exports to zero. At the same time, the US government has decided to grant waivers to eight countries that will allow them to keep importing Iranian oil if they significantly cut their purchases.

Monday’s restrictions also cover the shipping, ship-building and financial sectors, with the US Treasury Department announcing it would add more than 700 names to the blacklist of Iranian entities.

The introduction of what the Trump administration has described as “the toughest sanctions ever” followed Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. The first package of sanctions entered into force in August.

READ MORE: Pompeo: ‘No One’s Going to Argue’ Anti-Iran Sanctions Are Not Tough

In the meantime, other signatories to the landmark agreement, known as the Joint Cooperation Plan of Action (JCPOA), including Russia, France, the UK, China and Germany, are struggling to preserve the deal and find a way to bypass US sanctions, which also jeopardize foreign companies doing business with the Islamic Republic.

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