Vigilance Required for Iran

May 23, 2017

On May 17, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones said, the U.S. is determined “to hold Iran accountable for its human rights abuses with new actions.” He pointed to the newly released report to Congress detailing U.S. sanctions imposed in connection with human rights abuses in Iran. The report includes the sanctions announced last month against the Tehran Prisons Organizations and its former head Sohrab Soleimani.

The United States urges our partners around the world to join us in calling out individuals and entities involved in Iran's human rights abuses. Acting Assistant Secretary Jones said, “Whether it's imprisoning people arbitrarily, inflicting physical abuse and torture, or executing juvenile offenders, the Iranian regime has for decades committed egregious human rights violations against its own people and foreign nationals, and this pattern of behavior must come to an end.”

In addition to Iran's human rights violations, the U.S. remains concerned about Iran's ballistic missile development, which is in defiance of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231. On May 17 the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control designated seven targets connected with Iran's ballistic missile program, including two senior Iranian defense officials, Morteza Farasatpour and Rahim Ahmadi; an Iranian company; and members of a China-based network.

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “This Administration is committed to countering Iran's destabilizing behavior, such as Iran's development of ballistic missiles and support to the Assad regime...The United States,” he noted, “will remain vigilant when it comes to Iran.”

Acting Assistant Secretary of State Jones also said, “In addition to the actions taken today, we are communicating to the U.S. Congress that the United States continues to waive sanctions as required to continue implementing the U.S. sanctions-lifting commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”He noted this “does not diminish the United States' resolve to continue countering Iran's destabilizing activity in the region, whether it be supporting the Assad regime, backing terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, or supporting violent militias that undermine governments in Iraq and Yemen. And above all, the United States will never allow the regime in Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.”