US imposes fresh Iran-related sanctions, targets Khamenei-linked foundation

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin brief reporters about additional sanctions placed on Iran, at the White House. (File photo: The Associated Press)

Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran and senior officials on Wednesday over human rights abuses, which were witnessed against anti-government protesters last year.

Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi was sanctioned along with an organization led by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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Alavi is accused of using his ministerial portfolio to crack down on the protesters during the bloody protests in November 2019.

As for the foundation affiliated with the supreme leader, Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin said: “Iran’s Supreme Leader uses Bonyad Mostazafan to reward his allies under the pretense of charity. The United States will continue to target key officials and revenue-generating sources that enable the regime’s ongoing repression of its own people.”

The United States has come down with a crushing maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime ever since President Donald Trump entered the White House in 2016.

President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, has expressed interest in rejoining the nuclear deal signed when he was vice president under President Barack Obama.

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday indirectly advised Biden against such a move.

Defending the maximum pressure campaign and sanctions against the Iranian regime, Pompeo said they were part of the pressures “creating a new Middle East.”

Read more: US policies in the Middle East: An in-depth analysis of Biden’s plans

“Reducing that pressure is a dangerous choice, bound to weaken new partnerships for peace in the region and strengthen only the Islamic Republic,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo also said he expected to see the spread of disinformation, reports and arguments that say the sanctions had failed. “We should not be deceived,” the top US diplomat said.

“The regime’s terrorist proxies and partners beg for cash, and have been forced to take austerity measures, even furloughing some terrorist fighters,” he said in an indirect reference to Lebanon’s Hezbollah and other Iranian militias in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

In the Trump administration’s remaining months, there will be new sanctions on Iran, Pompeo said. “Throughout the coming weeks and months, we will impose new sanctions on Iran, including using our nuclear, counterterrorism, and human rights authorities, each reflecting the wide range of malign behavior that continues to emanate from the Iranian regime.”

Read more:

Pompeo says US rejoining Iran nuclear deal is a 'crazy idea'

Iran ambassador to Sanaa is Khamenei's direct representative: Former Houthi official

- with Reuters

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Last Update: Thursday, 19 November 2020 KSA 02:15 - GMT 23:15
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