US President Donald Trump signed an order on Monday with additional financial sanctions. Experts say that the new sanctions target Iran's supreme leader and associates.
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said about the new sanctions.
The targets of the new sanctions include senior military figures in Iran, blocking their access to any financial assets under US jurisdiction. They also work to deny Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's and his close aides' access to money and support.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil. Trump said the action follows a series of aggressions by Iran, including last week's downing of an unmanned US surveillance drone.
Experts say that the decision to sanction the supreme leader would likely not have much effect. "Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has not left Iran in over 30 years since he was president in 1989. The last time he left Iran was on a state visit to China in April 1989," she said.
Meanwhile, the announcement that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would be sanctioned by the end of this week has come as a surprise here in Iran.