Pompeo said: “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.”
That is why, in May, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the head of Iran’s central bank and several other individuals or organisations involved in the secret transfer of money to terrorist groups like the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
At the same time, the Treasury also sanctioned five members of the IRGC for supporting the Houthi militants in Yemen, who are firing missiles into Saudi Arabia, and nine individuals and firms who illegally obtained aeroplane parts for Iranian airlines that had been designated for their support of terrorist groups.
The latest sanctions, announced by the Treasury on May 30, also target those who commit human rights abuses against the Iranian people.
Three individuals associated with Ansar-e Hizbullah – a group involved in the violent suppression of Iranian citizens, including acid attacks against women in Isfahan – have been sanctioned. While Evin prison was sanctioned for torturing and abusing dissidents and prisoners of conscience.
Furthermore, the Treasury Department sanctioned the Hanista Programming Group, two government officials, and the director of the IRIB, the state broadcasting organisation, for their roles in censoring the Iranian people’s access to information and limiting freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement: “America stands with the people of Iran and [the] 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.”
These sanctions show that the US will not look away from Iran’s human rights violations, but it is also important to show that the US stands with the people working to bring freedom and democracy to Iran – the Iranian Resistance.
One way to do this, would be to have a prominent presence from the Donald Trump administration at the Free Iran Grand Gathering in Paris on June 30, where many prominent politicians have spoken before, including National Security Adviser John Bolton.