It has been two years since the United States launched its maximum pressure campaign against the government of Iran. It did so to convince Iran’s leaders to abide by international standards and allow Iran to become a “normal nation,” as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.
In the face of the regime’s ongoing malign activities -- including launching military satellites, supporting proxy forces, harassing U.S. ships at sea, and violating the Iranian people’s rights -- that pressure campaign continues.
On June 8, sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, or IRISL, went into effect, after a wind-down period in which the United States allowed companies to find alternative shipping methods. IRISL was designated in December 2019 as a proliferator for its involvement in transporting weapons of mass destruction.
At a press briefing, Secretary of State Pompeo said, “Our maximum pressure campaign also entails demanding that the regime in Tehran treat its own people with respect and dignity:”
“Today, the United States announces that it is imposing sanctions on 12 Iranian individuals and entities under human rights authorities. One of those sanctioned is the current Minister of Interior for Iran, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.
“We have reason to believe he is the individual who gave orders in November 2019 authorizing Iranian police forces to use lethal force on peaceful protesters inside of Iran. His evil commands killed Iranian citizens. We’re proud to mete out what justice we can on behalf of the slain and silenced inside of Iran.”
In a recent interview with Foreign Policy magazine, Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook noted the enormous scope of the brutality used against Iranians in November: “The regime murdered over 1,500 people, injured thousands, and jailed anywhere between 8,000 and 10,000 people.” The new designations of those complicit in such brutality “are both financial sanctions and visa sanctions,” he said. “Given America’s reach in the global economy, these have consequences.”
Two years ago, when Secretary Pompeo announced the United States’ maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian government, he said what has proven true: “The leaders in Tehran will have no doubt about our seriousness. .... The United States stands with [the Iranian people] longing for a country of economic opportunity, government transparency, fairness, and greater liberty.”