Public Statements, Comments and Reactions

“It’s important that we not lose sight of the big picture. Sanctions on Iran are designed to deny the regime revenue to fund its foreign operations and to bring it back to the negotiating table to reach a new and comprehensive deal.”

– Special Representative for Iran and Senior Advisor Hook, Briefing Remarks, September 4

SANCTIONING OF VAST IRGC-QF PETROLEUM SHIPPING NETWORK

“Maximum Pressure continues. Today: sanctions on IRGC-QF shipping network. The Iranian regime funds the murderous Assad and terrorist proxies like Hizballah through its illicit oil sales. We’ll continue to deny Iran the resources it needs to destabilize the Middle East.”

– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Twitter, September 4

  • On August 30th, the Department of the Treasury took action against the Adrian Darya 1, and designated its captain, Kumar Akhilesh for acting for or on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) Shipping Network under E.O. 13224.  Since the vessel’s mid-August release from detention in Gibraltar, Kumar Akhilesh has assumed the role of captain. He is now a designated individual and will suffer significant negative consequences.

  • Please see the Press Statement and the Department of Treasury for more information.

  • On September 4th, the United States designated 16 entities and 10 individuals and identified 11 vessels that are part of a large shipping network enabling the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, to sell illicit oil for the benefit of the brutal Assad regime, Hizballah, and other terrorist actors.

  • Please see the Press Statement and the Department of Treasury for more information.

  • The sanctioned individuals and entities will be denied access to the U.S. financial system and listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists.  In addition, a freeze will be placed on any U.S. assets.  Non-U.S. persons who knowingly provide significant goods, services, or support to the individuals and entities designated today may themselves face sanctions consequences.

  • These designations highlight the Iranian regime’s use of deceptive tactics to sell its oil.  The maritime community must do its diligence to ensure it does not fund Iran-backed terrorism.  The United States will continue to work with our allies to deny Iran the resources it uses to fund terrorist proxies and destabilize the Middle East.

US IMPOSES NEW SANCTIONS DESIGNATIONS ON IRAN’S SPACE PROGRAM

“For the 1st time, the US has sanctioned Iran’s civilian space agency, which develops the same space launch vehicle technology used in ballistic missiles. We call on our allies to join us in deterring the world’s top sponsor of terrorism from growing its ballistic missile program.”

– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Twitter, September 3

  • On September 3rd, the Department of State designated the Iran Space Agency and two of its research institutes under Executive Order (E.O.) 13382 for engaging in proliferation-sensitive activities. This is the first time the United States is designating Iran’s civilian space agency for activities that could advance its ballistic missile program.

  • The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs. Iran’s August 29 attempt to launch a space launch vehicle underscores the urgency of the threat. These designations should serve as a warning to the international scientific community that collaborating with Iran’s space program could contribute to Tehran’s ability to develop ballistic missiles.

  • Please see the Press Statement and Fact Sheet for more information.

REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION ON FINANCIAL MECHANISMS OF IRAN’S REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS AND ITS BRANCHES INCLUDING THE IRGC-QF

“The @StateDept’s @Rewards4Justice program is offering a reward of up to $15 million for information that disrupts the financial mechanisms of Iran’s IRGC. It’s the first time the U.S. has taken such action against another gov’t entity based on their terrorist activities.”

– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Twitter, September 5

  • Special Representative for Iran and Senior Advisor to the Secretary Brian Hook announced that the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) is offering a reward of up to $15 million for information leading to the disruption of the financial mechanisms of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its branches, including the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).  This includes seeking information on the IRGC’s illicit oil sales, including via oil tankers like the Adrian Darya.

  • More information about this reward offer is located on the Rewards for Justice website at rewardsforjustice.net. We encourage anyone with information on the financial mechanisms of the IRGC to contact RFJ via the website, e-mail at info@rewardsforjustice.net, or the Regional Security Officer at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  All information will be kept strictly confidential.

  • Please see the Media Note and Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook’s remarks for more information.

IRAN ANNOUNCES RESUMUMPTION OF ADVANCED CENTRIFUGE R&D

“Iran announced it will violate all limits on nuclear research and development. The fact that Iran retains massive uranium enrichment capacity reveals a core weakness of the Iran deal.”

– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Twitter, September 6

  • Iran’s announcement that it will no longer observe the R&D limits it committed to in the JCPOA and instead take new steps regarding advanced centrifuge R&D is the latest in a series of transparent attempts to generate negotiating leverage and extort the international community.

  • There is no reason for Iran to expand its proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities other than to engage in brinkmanship with the international community. These tactics will not work.

  • We have made clear that the regime’s political and economic isolation will only deepen if it takes further steps that increase concerns about its nuclear program.

Link:

State Department Fact Sheet

First Anniversary of President Trump’s New Iran Strategy

Press Statement

Michael R. Pompeo 
Secretary of State

Washington, DC

May 8, 2019


One year ago today, President Trump announced the United States would cease to participate in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and would instead embark on a bold new strategy to end Iran’s destabilizing behavior and prevent Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon. President Trump promised that America would never be held hostage to the Iranian regime’s nuclear blackmail and that we would aggressively seek to address the full range of Iran’s destabilizing activities.

One year later, President Trump has made good on his promise to counter Iran in a comprehensive campaign of maximum pressure. We have imposed the toughest sanctions ever on the Iranian regime, designating nearly 1,000 individuals and entities in the past year. The Trump Administration has taken Iran’s oil exports to historic lows, and stopped issuing Significant Reduction Exceptions to importers of Iranian oil, effectively zeroing out purchases of Iranian crude. In May, the United States tightened restrictions that impede Iran’s ability to reconstitute its past nuclear weapons program and prevent Iran from shortening the time it would take to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon. Today, President Trump announced a new sanctions authority targeting trade in Iranian metals. This targets Iran’s largest non-oil related export and further degrades the regime’s ability to fund terror and instability in the Middle East.

The Iranian regime’s announcement today that it intends to expand its nuclear program is in defiance of international norms and a blatant attempt to hold the world hostage. Its threat to renew nuclear work that could shorten the time to develop a nuclear weapon underscores the continuing challenge the Iranian regime poses to peace and security worldwide.

The United States is committed to denying the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon. We will continue to impose maximum pressure on the regime until it abandons its destabilizing ambitions. We call on the international community to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its threat to expand its nuclear program.

America is not countering Iran alone. Since our withdrawal from the deal, our allies and partners have stepped up to counter Iranian aggression with us. We have acted with countries from nearly every continent to disrupt Iran’s illicit oil shipping operations. The European Union passed new sanctions against Iranian entities in response to two foiled terror plots last year. Other nations have responded to Iran’s malign activity by recalling ambassadors, expelling Iranian diplomats, eliminating visa-free travel, or denying landing rights to Mahan Air.

Moving forward, we will continue to build on the already significant successes of our pressure campaign. As outlined in the 12 demands in my May 21, 2018 speech, we will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table.

Link:

State Department Press Release

Advancing the Maximum Pressure Campaign by Restricting Iran’s Nuclear Activities

Fact Sheet

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

May 3, 2019


Maximum Pressure Campaign

  • The Administration has imposed the toughest sanctions ever on the Iranian regime. We will continue to apply maximum pressure until Iran’s leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of their people, and return to the negotiating table.

  • The United States is committed to denying Iran any pathway to nuclear weapons. Today, Secretary Pompeo further increased U.S. pressure on Iran’s nuclear program, following earlier steps taken in November 2018 and March 2019.

  • In November 2018, the United States re-imposed sanctions on nuclear cooperation with Iran, including by re-designating 23 Atomic Energy Organization of Iran entities and individuals, and by placing new limits on foreign assistance that could expand Iran’s nuclear program beyond current restrictions.

  • In March 2019, the United States designated an additional 31 Iranian individuals and entities linked to Iran’s WMD proliferation-sensitive activities. These included scientists who had worked on Iran’s former nuclear weapons program and who remain employed by Iran on potentially sensitive dual-use technologies under the leadership of the former head of that nuclear weapons program.

Increasing Nuclear Pressure

  • Secretary Pompeo continues to believe that Iran must declare to the IAEA a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity. Additionally, he reiterates his call that Iran must stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing.

  • Today’s action by Secretary Pompeo applies additional pressure on Iran’s nuclear program. Starting May 4, assistance to expand Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant beyond the existing reactor unit will be exposed to sanctions.

  • Until Iran ends its destabilizing behavior and returns to the negotiating table in order to reach the comprehensive and enduring deal outlined by Secretary Pompeo in May 2018, there cannot be business as usual with Iran, in particular with its nuclear program, and we will not countenance any expansion of Iran’s involvement with nuclear materials or technology.

  • In addition, any involvement in transferring enriched uranium out of Iran in exchange for natural uranium will now be exposed to sanctions. The United States has been clear that Iran must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including uranium enrichment, and we will not accept actions that support the continuation of such enrichment.

  • We will also no longer permit the storage for Iran of heavy water it has produced in excess of current limits; any such heavy water must not be made available to Iran in any fashion.

Tightening Restrictions on Iran’s Nuclear Activities

  • Today, Secretary Pompeo also tightened restrictions that impede Iran’s ability to reconstitute its past nuclear weapons program and help prevent Iran from shortening the time it would take to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon. We are permitting the temporary continuation of certain ongoing nonproliferation projects that constrain Iran’s nuclear activities and that help maintain the nuclear status quo in Iran until we reach a comprehensive deal that resolves Iran’s proliferation threats.

  • Specifically, we are permitting the following nonproliferation activities to continue, for a renewable duration of 90 days:

    • the redesign of the Arak reactor to prevent it from becoming a factory for weapons-grade plutonium;

    • modification of infrastructure at the Fordow facility to help ensure that the facility is no longer used for uranium enrichment work;

    • work at the existing unit at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant to ensure safe and transparent operations, as well as to facilitate foreign fuel supply and take-back that precludes any legitimate need for Iran to enrich uranium and denies it access to spent fuel from which plutonium might be separated;

    • provision of enriched uranium on an as-needed basis for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) under international verification so as to preclude any need for indigenous TRR fuel production; and

    • the transfer out of Iran of scrap and spent nuclear reactor fuel, to ensure that such sensitive material cannot be reprocessed or further enriched in Iran.

  • We reserve the right to modify or revoke our policy covering these non-proliferation activities at any time.

  • In combination with our sanctions, these nonproliferation activities enhance our ability to constrain Iran’s program and keep pressure on the regime while we pursue a new, stronger deal.

  • Iran must be strictly held to current nuclear limits until the global pressure campaign has brought it to the table to conclude a better and more comprehensive deal. We join partners and allies around the world in making clear that Iran must continue to allow full, timely, and unimpeded access to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.

Link:

State Department Fact Sheet

Secretary Pompeo Tightens Nuclear Restrictions on Iran

Press Statement

Morgan Ortagus 
Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC

May 3, 2019


The Trump administration continues to hold the Iranian regime accountable for activities that threaten the region’s stability and harm the Iranian people. This includes denying Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon. As part of the administration’s unprecedented maximum pressure campaign to address the full range of Iran’s destructive activities, Secretary Pompeo has today tightened restrictions on the regime’s nuclear program.

Starting May 4, assistance to expand Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant beyond the existing reactor unit could be sanctionable. In addition, activities to transfer enriched uranium out of Iran in exchange for natural uranium could be sanctionable. Iran must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including uranium enrichment, and we will not accept actions that support the continuation of such enrichment. We will also no longer permit the storage for Iran of heavy water it has produced in excess of current limits; any such heavy water must no longer be available to Iran in any fashion.

Additionally, Secretary Pompeo today took steps to permit the continuation of projects that help restrict Iran’s ability to reconstitute its past nuclear weapons program. Our policy preserves oversight of Iran’s civil nuclear program, reduces proliferation risks, constrains Iran’s ability to shorten its “breakout time” to a nuclear weapon, and prevents the regime from reconstituting sites for proliferation-sensitive purposes. We reserve the right to revoke or modify our policy covering these nonproliferation activities at any time if Iran violates its nuclear obligations or commitments or we conclude that such projects no longer provide value in constraining Iranian nuclear activities. Secretary Pompeo continues to believe that Iran must declare to the IAEA a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity. Additionally, he reiterates his call that Iran must stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing.

Today’s action follows earlier steps to rein in Iran’s nuclear program. In November 2018, the United States re-imposed sanctions on nuclear cooperation with Iran, including by re-designating Atomic Energy Organization of Iran entities, and by placing new limits on foreign assistance that could expand Iran’s nuclear program. In March 2019, the United States designated an additional 31 Iranian individuals and entities linked to Iran’s WMD proliferation-sensitive activities. These included scientists who worked on Iran’s former nuclear weapons program and who remain employed by Iran on potentially sensitive dual-use technologies and under the leadership of the former head of that nuclear weapons program.

The United States will continue to impose maximum pressure on the Iranian regime, and remains committed to denying Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon.

Commentary: so, the US has THREE “maximum pressure” campaigns – Iran, Venezuela and North Korea? but not Russia… just asking who represents the bigger threat to the US, Europe and world stability in general…

Link:

State Department Press Release

Statement from Government of Canada for Canadians doing business in Cuba

May 3, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada and Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today issued the following statement regarding Canadian businesses operating in Cuba:

“As of May 2, 2019, the United States government has fully implemented Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996, commonly known as the Helms-Burton Act.

“Canada’s opposition to the Helms-Burton Act is based on the principles of international law and reflects our long-standing objection to the extraterritorial application of laws by another country.

“Canada has had measures in place since 1996 under its Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act (FEMA) to help protect Canadians and Canadian businesses and the workers they employ. Our FEMA legislation is strong and we are prepared to apply it.

“As stated in FEMA, no judgment issued under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act will be recognized or enforced in any manner in Canada. FEMA also allows Canadians to use Canadian courts to sue the person who has initiated an action under Helms-Burton, even while proceedings are still ongoing. This will allow Canadians to recover any amounts that have been obtained against them, including legal expenses, and losses or damages incurred.

“The Government of Canada will always defend Canadians and Canadian businesses conducting legitimate trade and investment with Cuba, and is reviewing all options in response to the US decision. Canada will also continue to work with our international partners, including the EU, to stand up for our businesses.”

Quick facts

  • The Helms-Burton Act came into force in the United States in 1996. The act aims to prevent foreign countries from engaging in international trade with Cuba by subjecting foreign nationals to travel restrictions and financial liabilities in the United States. Until January 2019, successive U.S. administrations had continuously suspended, in six month increments, the application of Title III (financial liabilities).

  • On April 17, 2019, the U.S. Secretary of State announced that Title III of the Helms-Burton Act would be fully implemented on May 2. The U.S. also indicated that it will be taking action regarding the application of Title IV of this legislation.

  • In 1996, the Government of Canada amended FEMA to mitigate the extraterritorial effects of the Helms-Burton Act and to offer explicit legal protections for Canadian businesses.