As part of the United States’ new comprehensive strategy to counter Iran’s malign behavior, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. will apply “unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime:”
“This sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the League of Nations. These will indeed end up being the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete.”
To that end, the U.S. Treasury Department in May imposed sanctions on the head of Iran’s central bank and other entities that were funneling money to the IRGC’s Qods Force, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. It also sanctioned five members of the IRGC over their efforts to support Yemen’s Houthi militants who are firing missiles into Saudi Arabia. In addition, nine individuals and firms accused of procuring jet engines and airplane parts for Iranian airlines previously designated for their support for terrorist entities were also sanctioned.
The latest round of sanctions announced by the Treasury Department May 30 targets the perpetrators of human rights abuses against the Iranian people. They include the Ansar-e Hizbullah organization that has been involved with the violent suppression of Iranian citizens, including acid attacks against women in Isfahan. Three individuals associated with the organization were also sanctioned.
Evin prison, where the Iranian regime holds many dissidents and prisoners of conscience, was sanctioned as well for subjecting prisoners to brutal torture and abuse.
And in recognition of the regime’s attempts to monitor and censor Iranian citizens and to deny them access to the free flow of information, the Treasury Department designated the Hanista Programming Group, two government officials involved in limiting Iranians’ freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and the director of the IRIB, the state broadcasting organization.
The actions taken by the Treasury Department against these rights violators show that the United States will not allow the regime’s repression to remain in the shadows. “America stands with the people of Iran,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, “and Treasury is taking action to hold the Iranian regime accountable for ongoing human rights abuses, censorship, and other despicable acts it commits against its own citizens.”