“The United States will continue to use sanctions to target those who lend support to Iran’s destabilizing behavior and above all, the United States will never allow the regime in Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” said the State Department, adding that it will cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to continue the monitoring and verifying Iran’s nuclear commitments.
The statement said it considers Iran’s ballistic missile testing a direct defiance of UN Resolution 2231. It said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) expects full implementation by its participants, which will “positively contribute to regional and international peace and security.”
The State Department strongly condemned Iran’s regional behavior, in reference to the crisis in Yemen, saying its continuous support to Houthi insurgents inside the country is prolonging the Yemen conflict.
According to the statement, Tehran’s regime is providing Houthis with “advanced weaponry that threatens freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and has been used to attack Saudi Arabia.” The State Department also blamed Iran for its support of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and maintaining a “steadfast support for the Assad regime, despite Assad’s atrocities against his own people.”
The statement demanded the immediate release of US citizens Baquer Namazi, Siamak Namazi, and Xiyue Wang, and all other unjustly detained in Iran, and expressed Washington’s concern about reports of the declining health of the Namazis, Wang, and other detained US citizens. “Iran should immediately release all of these US citizens on humanitarian grounds,” declared the State Department.
Over a decade ago, Robert Levinson, a US citizen, disappeared from Iran’s Kish Island and, according to the statement, Iran committed to cooperating with the United States in bringing him home. Iran was asked to fulfill this commitment. “The United States remains unwavering in its efforts to return Bob to his family. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has offered a $5 million reward for any information that could lead to Bob’s safe return.”
Washington’s statement also condemned the Iran’s human rights record, including its denial of freedom of religion and other human rights and freedoms. “Notably, arbitrary arrest and detention of members of religious minorities and political activists, is common as is the use of torture and other forms of abuse in detention.”