“Today the Treasury Department and State Department are announcing that we are designating 14 individuals and 17 entities under sanctions targeting proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters,” the official said. “These 31 entities are linked to Iran’s Organization for Defense Innovation and Research, better known by its Persian acronym SPND.”
The official explained that Washington’s latest action targets the technical experts and entities linked to Iran’s previous nuclear weapons efforts.
“These are entities and people who continue to operate in Iran’s defence sector, which means that the intellectual firepower behind the AMAD program very much continues to exist in Iran,” the official said. “With this action, we are exposing those people, those entities and we are making them radioactive internationally.”
The official stressed that everyone who continues to associate with SPND or the designated people risks professional, personal and financial international isolation. He noted that with the latest round of sanctions, the total amount of sanctions against Iran reach 25 sanctions targeting 960 individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels.
At the same time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed in joint remarks with Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil later in the day, that Washington would continue applying extraordinary pressure on Tehran.
“The United States will continue to bring unprecedented pressure on Iran until it ceases all malign behaviour, including that which is carried out by Hezbollah,” Pompeo stated.
US Sanctions Against Iran
The United States has already introduced several rounds of sanctions against Tehran. Previously, the punitive measures were lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which provided for the relief of economic sanctions against Tehran in return for Iran’s pledge to keep its nuclear program peaceful. However, from the very beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump repeatedly criticised the deal and finally announced Washington to withdraw from it.
China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union — the other signatories to the Iran nuclear deal — slammed Washington’s withdrawal from the agreement and the reinstatement of sanctions, saying it threatened not only Iran but also countries and companies that continued to do business with Tehran.
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