The United States has imposed sweeping new sanctions on Iran to prove that it will do “whatever it takes” to prevent the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” from causing chaos in the Middle East and beyond.
The US State, Treasury, and Commerce Departments all took action to counter Iranian threats with regards to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, ballistic missile and conventional arms, where they say that Iran poses a “unique threat to the world” by supplying to terrorist groups like Hezbollah.
-New Executive Order targeting Iran-related conventional arms transfers, which bolsters the UN arms embargo on Iran that has been indefinitely re-imposed, and gives the US power to hold those who seek to evade the embargo to account.
-Designations on the following people and entities for violation of the embargo:
- Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL)
- Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO) and its Director, Mehrdad Akhlaghi-Ketabchi
- Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro
-Designations of six people and three entities for association with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI)
-Adding five people affiliated with the AEOI to the Commerce Department’s Entity List, which imposes export control restrictions
-Designation of three individuals and four entities affiliated with the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), Iran’s liquid propellant ballistic missile organization, and updates to existing sanctions for two SHIG individuals already designated
The US State Department wrote: “These actions underscore that the United States will not hesitate to counter the Iranian nuclear, missile, and conventional arms threats that led the UN Security Council to unanimously impose sanctions on Iran in the first place beginning in 2006. These measures are now again in force against Iran, thanks to the return of sanctions pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 2231.”
The US says that it is open to dialogue with Iran but its primary objective is the safety of the American people, so any talks must address the regime’s malign behaviour.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a press conference: “Our sanctions have saved countless Muslim, Jewish, and Christian lives by denying Tehran access to more than $70 billion that could have otherwise gone to terror. We’ve done this all while keeping a channel open for humanitarian trade and assistance. As we are demonstrating today, we’ll keep it up until the Iranian regime comes to the table and accepts a real deal for changing its behaviour. The American people should know that we will always put their safety first.”