Action Targets the Iranian Regime’s Continued Human Rights Abuses, WMD Proliferation, and Support for Terrorism
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced a set of targeted sanctions against 17 individuals and entities related to the Iranian government’s human rights abuses, its support of terrorism, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). These designations are part of the United States government’s commitment to intensify sanctions against the Iranian government so long as it refuses to address in a meaningful and productive way the international community’s concerns about its nuclear program as well as the Iranian government’s continued abuse of human rights and support for terrorism. Today’s actions coincide with amendments to the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR Part 561, which further strengthen financial sanctions against the Iranian government and fulfill a number of requirements set forth in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (TRA), which was signed into law by the President on August 10, 2012.
“Today’s designations further demonstrate our resolve to put a stop to the Iranian regime’s continued efforts to deny the Iranian people access to information and the ability to speak freely,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “We will continue to expose this repressive behavior, as well as Iran’s continued proliferation activities and support to terrorists worldwide.”
Today’s actions are being taken under three different Executive Orders (E.O.). Any property or interests in property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which the designated entities or individuals have an interest are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
The first set of designations is being taken pursuant to E.O. 13628, which implements the TRA by sanctioning individuals and entities who have engaged in censorship or other activities with respect to Iran on or after June 12, 2009, that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by citizens of Iran, or that limit access to print or broadcast media. These sanctions target those in Iran who restrict or deny the free flow of information to or from the Iranian people, and who limit or prohibit the exercise of freedoms of expression or assembly. These designations include, Reza Taghipour the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance as well as a number of officials and other entities involved in the Iranian regime’s ongoing attempts to repress and silence Iran’s people.
The second set of actions is being taken pursuant to E.O. 13224, which target terrorists and supporters of terrorism around the world. These sanctions further expose the nefarious activities of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) as it coordinates terrorist operations in the region, particularly by supporting Kata'ib Hizballah (KH) officials who operate out of Iran and Iraq. KH, which was listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Department of State in June 2009, has conducted attacks against Iraqi, U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq and continues to act as a destabilizing force in Iraq and the region.
The final set of actions today is being taken pursuant to E.O. 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their support networks. Today’s action targets the support network of Iran’s IRGC, which was designated by the U.S. Department of State in October 2007 for having engaged, or attempted to engage, in proliferation related activities. The IRGC is a powerful actor in Iran’s economy, dominating the energy, construction, banking and other key sectors. Today’s designations include two IRGC-linked universities and companies, including the National Iranian Oil Company, which was determined by the U.S. Treasury Department in September 2012 to be an agent or affiliate of the IRGC. These entities are being designated for the important technological and commercial support they provide to the IRGC.
For more information on today’s designations, please see the fact sheet: fact sheet.