After the release of Americans, the US announces new sanctions against Iran

The American government announced this Monday (18) the application of new sanctions against the government of Iran, which includes former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Ministry of Military Intelligence. The announcement was made shortly after a prisoner exchange between the two countries.

Through a statement, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, stated that he will continue the impositions against the Middle Eastern country “for its provocative actions” in the Gulf region.

“Today we sanctioned former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence under the Levinson Law for their involvement in undue detentions. And we will continue to impose costs on Iran for its provocative actions in the region,” the note said.

Five American citizens left Iran this morning, as part of an exchange of ten prisoners between Washington and Tehran, which also included the unfreezing of a billion-dollar sum from the Islamic country.

The Americans released in Iran are Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, Morad Tahbaz and two others who chose not to reveal their identities.

They were all released from prison in August and placed under house arrest in a hotel while they awaited details of a prisoner exchange negotiated between the US and Iranian governments, mediated in Oman and Qatar.

In a statement, Biden thanked the governments of Qatar, Oman, Switzerland and South Korea for “their tireless efforts” to help achieve the outcome.

Biden recalled Americans who “did not return, such as the former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007, Bov Levinson, who gave his name to the law that allows Iran to be sanctioned for the retention of American citizens.

“I call on the Iranian regime to fully account for what happened to Bob Levinson. The Levinson family deserves answers,” said the president, who reminded all Americans “the risk of traveling to the country.” US passport holders, he added, “should not travel there.”

Iran has been accused of using dual nationals and foreign prisoners as a pressure measure or to exchange prisoners with other states, a practice described as “hostage diplomacy”.

In an interview with the American broadcaster CNN, White House spokesman John Kirby stated that this agreement between Iran and the USA “unfortunately” does not represent a rapprochement between the two countries, which severed relations after the Iranian Islamic revolution of 1979 and the hostage taking at the US embassy.

Details of the sanctions are not yet available, but, according to Kirby, the measures seek to “send a strong signal to Tehran” that it will continue to take responsibility for its actions and “destabilizing behavior” in the Gulf region.

“I don’t believe we should approach this deal as some kind of confidence-building measure to improve relations with Iran,” he said, as the country continues to engage in “destabilizing behavior” in the Gulf and, for example, provides drones to Russia.”

By Editor

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