US officials slapped with sanctions — Analysis
Iran has placed sanctions on 24 ex-military and government leaders, amid stagnant talks in Vienna to restore the nuclear agreement
Iran has announced sanctions against an additional 24 Americans, including officials who served in former President Donald Trump’s administration, for allegedly supporting terrorism and human rights violations.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced the measures on Saturday, saying they stem from efforts by US officials to impose or intensify “criminal sanctions” against the Islamic republic, as well as supporting terrorist groups and Israel’s “repressive actions”in the Middle East against the Palestinians.
Ex-CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel, former US Army chief of staff General George Casey, and Army General Scott Miller were among those sanctioned. Miller was formerly commander for NATO and American forces in Afghanistan. Rudi Giuliani was also listed as a top adviser to Trump and former President Barack Obama. Also, Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Rode were all named. Iran also cited ex-Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Richard Grenell who was later appointed acting director for national intelligence.
The military leaders sanctioned were guilty of backing and training terrorist groups in the region, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said. Ross, Lew and former officials of the Administration were blamed for sanctions against Iran. Grenell, according to the ministry was responsible for a policy of “maximum pressure”Iran and the Iranian people. “most basic rights,”Giuliani was a political and propaganda supporter. “the terrorist group of hypocrites.”
The news came amid an apparently impasse in negotiations to reopen the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Nuclear Deal (JCPOA), which Trump abandoned in 2018. Trump had imposed severe sanctions on Tehran at the time. He claimed that the JCPOA was in danger. “at best delaying” Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons.
Washington deliberately imposed harsh living conditions on Iranians, including blocking their access to medicines amid the Covid-19 pandemic, thus endangering millions of lives. These actions were a major setback. “a clear violation of the fundamental principles of international law and fundamental human rights and a clear example of a crime against humanity,” Tehran said.
Ten Americans were sanctioned by Iran last year. This included Trump and Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State. Based on the alleged involvement in Qassem Soleimani’s death, 50 more people were added in January to the sanction list.
US Military Leaders Recognized
People who have been sanctioned are prohibited from entering Iran. Assets in Iran can also be confiscated. These sanctions have a symbolic meaning, however, as Americans are prohibited from investing in Iran. Former executives from Kharon Co. were among those on the blacklist. They are alleged to have helped US sanction Iran.