America and Great Britain Increase Pressure on Iran
The United Kingdom essentially joined the United States on July 4 in its high-pressure campaign against the Iranian regime when it decided to impound a massive Iranian oil tanker sailing off the coast of Gibraltar.
On July 10, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attempted to return the favor when it momentarily blocked the path of a UK tanker, the British Heritage, before being forced to stand down by a Royal Navy frigate.
Britain’s decision to impound the Iranian tanker and its forthright response to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard underscores a huge shift in British policy toward Iran, one that is emboldened by a growing relationship with the U.S.
U.S. Hits Back at Iran in Lebanon
The United States sanctioned three high-ranking Hezbollah members on July 9, including two active members of Lebanon’s parliament. This marks the first time that the U.S. has targeted members of the Lebanese Parliament.
According to the United States Treasury, the sanctioned individuals leveraged “their privileged positions to facilitate Hezbollah’s malign agenda and do Iran’s bidding.”
In making the designation, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said, “Hezbollah uses its operatives in Lebanon’s parliament to manipulate institutions in support of the terrorist group’s financial and security interests, and to bolster Iran’s malign activities.”