Trump administration has sanctioned 9 folks near Iran’s Supreme Chief Ayatollah Khamenei
On the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions Monday on the core interior circle of advisers to Iranian Supreme Chief Ali Khamenei and added $20 million to a reward for details about a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran 12 years in the past.
The sanctions goal a few of Khamenei’s closest advisers, together with his second son, Mojtaba Khamenei, who typically represents his father at official features despite the fact that he has by no means been appointed to a authorities place, U.S. officers mentioned.
Others sanctioned embody Ebrahim Raisi, the newly appointed head of Iran’s judiciary, and Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, the supreme chief’s chief of workers. The checklist additionally consists of an adviser who organized credit score traces for oil shipments to the Syrian authorities, and the pinnacle of Iran’s Armed Forces Basic Workers, the highest army physique in Iran.
As if to underscore the lengthy historical past of battle between the US and Iran, the Treasury Division additionally sanctioned Hossein Dehghan, considered one of Khamenei’s army aides, who was a commander in Lebanon through the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 service members.
“At this time’s anniversary is a stark reminder that we’re coping with, as we speak, the identical regime that sprung up 40 years in the past; the identical regime that continues to be dedicated to violence and hostage taking that our diplomats encountered so way back,” mentioned a senior administration official, referring to the 1979 scholar takeover of the U.S. Embassy wherein greater than 50 diplomats and army guards had been held captive for 444 days.
This official, like others, spoke on the situation of anonymity underneath the Trump administration’s media tips.
“Forty years later, the revolutionary regime in Tehran has confirmed, repeatedly, that its first acts after gaining energy had been a transparent indication of its evil character,” mentioned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a press release. “The regime continues to unjustly detain Individuals and to help terrorist proxy teams like Hizballah that have interaction in hostage taking.”
Pompeo expanded on his characterization of Iran in a ceremony on the State Division to commemorate the anniversary, an occasion attended by most of the surviving hostages, their family and the households among the 5 Individuals identified to be lacking or imprisoned in Iran. Pompeo demanded Iran launch them.
“Everybody concerned within the Iran hostage disaster confirmed the world what they had been product of,” he mentioned, extolling the braveness of those that held up underneath captivity for 15 months. “The revolutionary regime confirmed their true malice and evil.”
The State Division introduced a $20 million addition to a $5 million FBI reward for data on the whereabouts of Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who vanished throughout a 2007 go to to Kish Island in Iran.
Levinson’s household issued a press release pleading with the federal government in Tehran to finish hostage-taking.
“This sends a transparent message from our authorities of how necessary it’s that Bob Levinson be returned to his household and mates who love him,” the assertion mentioned. “All of the Iranian authorities have to do is ship him residence.”
One other Trump administration official referred to as on the Iranian authorities to resign hostage-taking and launch all foreigners unjustly imprisoned in Iran. The Individuals lacking or imprisoned there are believed to have been accused of espionage, claims their households and colleagues take into account baseless.
In a background name with reporters, U.S. officers spoke with contempt of the Iranian regime.
“Iran’s so-called democracy is a sham,” one official mentioned. “The facility lies within the fingers of the supreme chief, Khamenei, and his shadow community of corrupt appointees, who’re forcibly suppressing all opposition contained in the nation and sustaining a grip on energy.”
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have been escalating quickly since President Trump withdrew final yr from the 2015 nuclear cope with Iran. They’ve spiraled upward significantly in current months, as sanctions have been reimposed and Iran has reacted by showing to check Washington’s resolve. Iran has downed a U.S. drone within the Persian Gulf, and the administration has blamed it for assaults on Saudi oil services.
In Tehran, new anti-American graffiti has appeared on the wall across the former U.S. Embassy, now changed into a museum for a paramilitary militia.
Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran knowledgeable with the Basis for Protection of Democracies, mentioned the sanctions make the administration’s most stress marketing campaign towards Iran about one thing greater than economics.”These designations reveal that Iran’s oppressive equipment is far more than only one man,” he mentioned. “It is a constellation of army and political officers who faithfully perform Khamenei’s orders.”
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)
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