The sanctions announced by the US Treasury Department, which also targets the Iranian Minister of Information, mark the latest action to consolidate the campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran, carried out by the administration of President Donald Trump.
The measures come about two months before Trump ends his term after losing the November 3 election.
The department has imposed sanctions against what it described as a key patronage network for Khamenei. The institution blacklisted Bonyad Mostazafan or the Foundation of the Oppressed, which is controlled by Khamenei, also targeting 10 people and 50 entities associated with the foundation in sectors such as energy, mining and financial services.
The sanctions block any US assets of the individuals and entities concerned and generally prohibit Americans from doing business with them.
The charity – an economic, cultural and welfare institution – has amassed large sums of money to the detriment of the rest of Iran ‘s economy, and controls hundreds of companies and properties confiscated since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“Iran’s supreme leader is using Bonyad Mostazafan to reward his allies for charity,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
“The United States will continue to target key officials and revenue-generating sources that allow the regime’s continued repression of its own citizens,” Mnuchin added.
Trump, who took a hard line on Tehran during his presidency and abandoned an international nuclear deal with Iran agreed by his predecessor Barack Obama, discussed options last week to attack Iran’s main nuclear center, but in trace decided not to take this step, a US official said on Monday.
The Treasury Department has also imposed sanctions on Iranian Information Minister Mahmoud Alavi, accusing his ministry of playing a role in serious human rights abuses against Iranians, including during last year’s protests.
The crackdown a year ago could be the bloodiest crackdown on protesters in Iran since the 1979 revolution.
US President-elect Joe Biden, who is due to take office on January 20, has previously said he will return the United States to the nuclear deal if Iran pledges to comply with it again.
Some analysts have said that the Trump administration’s supplementation of sanctions against Iran appears to be aimed at making it difficult for Biden to resume relations with Iran after taking office as president.