OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON
SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
The Trump Administration has made clear that the United States will do whatever it takes to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism, from spreading death and mayhem throughout the Middle East and the world. Rather than wait for the day that Iran threatens the world with a nuclear weapon, the United States is again fulfilling the best traditions of American global leadership and taking responsible action.
Today, under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump, the Departments of State, Treasury, and Commerce took significant action to counter Iranian nuclear threats as well as missile and conventional arms proliferation.
Across each of these areas, the Islamic Republic of Iran poses a unique threat to the world. The regime uses its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional and international security. Iran possesses the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East, and it has exported both missiles and missile production technology to violent non-state actors such as Houthi militias in Yemen and Hizballah terrorists in Lebanon and Syria. The U.S. and partner forces have repeatedly interdicted Iranian weapons en-route to the Houthis in the past year, demonstrating that the regime continues to use its arsenal of conventional weapons to destabilize the Middle East and foment sectarian violence and terrorism across the region.
These actions underscore that the United States will not hesitate to counter the Iranian nuclear, missile, and conventional arms threats that led the UN Security Council to unanimously impose sanctions on Iran in the first place beginning in 2006. These measures are now again in force against Iran, thanks to the return of sanctions pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 2231.
Our actions include:
- Issuance by President Trump of a new Executive Order targeting Iran-related conventional arms transfers. The UN arms embargo on Iran is now re-imposed indefinitely, and we will ensure that it remains in place until Iran changes its behavior. The new Executive Order gives us the tools to hold accountable actors who seek to evade the embargo.
- Designation by the Department of State of Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO) and its Director, Mehrdad Akhlaghi-Ketabchi, as well as Nicolas Maduro, the illegitimate dictator of Venezuela, for conventional arms-related activities pursuant to the new Iran Conventional Arms Executive Order.
- Designation by the Departments of State and Treasury of six individuals and three entities associated with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) pursuant to Executive Order 13382 (WMD Proliferators and Their Supporters). This action includes one individual and one entity who were re-listed by the UN sanctions that returned on September 19, 2020.
- Addition of five individuals affiliated with the AEOI to the Commerce Department’s Entity List, which will impose export control restrictions on these individuals.
- Designation by the Department of Treasury of three individuals and four entities associated with Iran’s liquid propellant ballistic missile organization, the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) pursuant to Executive Order 13382, and updates to the existing sanctions listings for two SHIG individuals already designated pursuant to Executive Order 13382.
The Trump Administration is keeping Americans and citizens across the Middle East and Europe safe by taking responsible actions against the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism. We will continue and expand our sanctions until Iran is willing to conclude a comprehensive negotiation that addresses the regime’s malign behavior. We are always open to diplomacy with Iran, but Iran must respond with diplomacy, not with more violence, bloodshed, and nuclear extortion. Until then, maximum pressure will continue.