Iran's Malign Activities Must Be Countered

Mar 2, 2017

The United States designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1984. It also designated several Foreign Terrorist Organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad, which receive substantial support from the Iranian regime.

The U.S. continues to counter Iran's support for terrorism, destabilizing regional activities, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program, including, when appropriate, through sanctions and by working with allies and partners in responding to these activities.

At the Munich Security Conference held recently in Bonn, the Iranian government's role in supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region was denounced by several participants, including the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, as well as the United States. Given the multiple, interrelated conflicts in the Middle East today, Iran's continued actions and strident rhetoric undermine regional stability and threaten multiple countries, including close allies of the United States.

At the conference, Vice President Mike Pence gave clear assurance where the U.S. stands on a nuclear challenge from Iran:

“Under President Trump, the United States will remain fully committed to ensuring that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon capable of threatening our countries [or] our allies, especially Israel.”

In early February, the White House put Iran “on notice” that its malign activities in the Middle East would not go unanswered. In a move separate from U.S. commitments under the JCPOA, which was solely focused on Iran's nuclear program and continues to be implemented by all parties, the Treasury Department sanctioned 25 individuals and entities involved in Iran's ballistic missile development and sponsorship of terrorism.

As a result of these designations, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, meaning any assets of these individuals and entities that come into possession of a U.S. person are blocked; and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with these designated individuals and entities.

The United States is committed to holding Iran accountable for its malign activities. “It is wise to make certain that Iran recognizes that what it is doing is getting the attention of a lot of people,” said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, “and we have responsibility, along with the rest of the nations that want to maintain stability, to be absolutely clear with Iran in this regard. It does no good to ignore it. It does no good to dismiss it.”