The United States has offered the Iranian people humanitarian aid during the COVID-19 crisis --an offer that has been rejected by regime leaders. At the same time, those same leaders continue their dangerous and destabilizing policies, with little or no regard for the welfare of their populace. The United States will continue to increase pressure on the Iranian regime to stop their malign activity.
On March 16th, in response to the Iranian government’s unacceptable nuclear escalations and refusal to comply with its nuclear safeguard obligations, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it imposed restrictions on five Iranian nuclear scientists by adding them to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List.
As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained in a news briefing, “These five individuals were involved in Iran’s pre-2004 nuclear weapons program, known as the Amad program, and continue to be employed by the regime to this day:"
“After work on the Amad plan was stopped, Iran continued to preserve its Amad-era records and its cadre of nuclear weapons scientists, including these individuals. Many unanswered questions remain about Iran’s undisclosed past nuclear-related activities. These new listings today by the Department of Commerce reaffirm the importance of demanding a full and honest accountability and accounting from Iran of its past nuclear weapons-related activities.”
On March 19, the U.S. Treasury Department took action against five United Arab Emirates-based companies that facilitate the Iranian regime’s petroleum and petrochemical sales. The move follows similar designations of key revenue sources that enable Iran’s malign regional activity. As Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, “The Iranian regime uses revenues from petroleum and petrochemical sales to fund its terrorist proxies, like the IRGC-QF (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Quds Force), instead of the health and well-being of the Iranian people. The Trump Administration will continue to target and isolate those who support the Iranian regime and remains committed to facilitating humanitarian trade and assistance in support of the Iranian people.”
As Secretary of State Pompeo noted, “We have an open humanitarian channel to facilitate legitimate transactions even while ensuring our maximum pressure campaign denies terrorists money. . .We’re trying to help. We continue to offer assistance to Iran in numerous ways and will continue to do so.”