The Treasury also imposed sanctions against an Iranian charity linked to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and almost a third of its 160 holdings. Anyone who engages in certain transactions with these individuals and entities runs the risk of being hit with USA sanctions. It said it blacklisted the Bonyad Mostazafan, or the Foundation of the Oppressed, which is controlled by Khamenei, as well as 10 individuals and 51 entities it said were associated.
Bonyad Mostazafan was created in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution to confiscate and manage property, including that originally belonging to religious minorities such as Baha'is and Jews. "The United States will continue to target key officials and revenue generating sources that enable the regime's ongoing repression of its own people".
"The Iranian regime seeks a repeat of the failed experiment that lifted sanctions and shipped them huge amounts of cash in exchange for modest nuclear limitations", he said in a statement.
He also described Trump as "a loser and disturbed person". "Throughout the coming weeks and months, we will impose new sanctions on Iran, including using our nuclear, counterterrorism and human rights authorities, each reflecting the wide range of malign behavior that continues to emanate from the Iranian regime".
Iranian officials have previously condemned the sanctions and said they wouldn't coerce Tehran into negotiations.
President-elect Biden, set to take office on January 20, has said he will return the United States to the nuclear deal, if Iran resumes compliance.
The secretary called the policy "extraordinarily effective" and promised additional sanctions in the last weeks of the Trump administration, a move that some officials and analysts say is part of a broader effort to preserve USA diplomatic leverage.
The latest sanctions will have limited practical effect as the Trump administration has already applied sweeping restrictions on Iran, including trying to stop all of its oil exports and blocking its financial system.
Rome said Wednesday's move could embarrass the supreme leader, dissuade non-US companies from dealing with the charitable foundation even if sanctions are eventually lifted, and put the Biden administration in the potentially hard position of justifying why they did so.
"Hostilities may be more likely if US commitments in negotiations are not credible and countries can not access an off-ramp from sanctions", said Elizabeth Rosenberg, a senior fellow at the Center for New American Security now serving in the Biden transition team, in an August CNAS report.
Additionally, the United States sanctioned Mahmoud Alavi, the head of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security, which has allegedly played a key role in the Iranian regime's human-rights abuses against the Iranian people.
Amnesty International has said Iranian forces, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, killed more than 300 people during the November protests, 220 of whom died on Nov. 16 and 17.
Iran's Interior Ministry has said around 225 people were killed during the protests, which erupted after state media announced that gas prices would rise by as much as 200% and the revenue would be used to help needy families.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he designated Brig.