On the 22nd, the US government announced additional sanctions on Iran. The blacklisted targets included Iranian ambassador to Iraq Iraji Masjedi and five Iranian entities. Iran condemned that day.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a statement stating that Masjedi was a close confidant of Qassim Soleimani, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard general who was attacked and killed by the U.S. military in Baghdad in January this year.
The statement said: “The Iranian government appointed officials of the Revolutionary Guards as diplomatic ambassadors to achieve its goal of destabilizing the region. U2026u2026 Masjedi is responsible for a plan to train and support Iraqi militia organizations. Under his instigation and support, these organizations launched attacks. This resulted in the death and injury of U.S. troops and other allied personnel in Iraq.”
The US embassy and military bases in Iraq have recently encountered a series of rocket attacks. The United States believes that the Iraqi Shiite militias backed by Iran are behind the scenes.
The other five targets subject to US sanctions include the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Revolutionary Guard’s Overseas Operation Unit “Quds Brigade,” the Islamic Radio and Television Federation, the Internet Media Federation, and a think tank associated with the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The U.S. Treasury Department claimed that the above five organizations used the Internet to spread false information, mislead American voters, and create divisions before the U.S. election. However, the US Treasury Department did not provide evidence.
According to Agence France-Presse, the latest additional sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran have basically no material impact, because the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and the “Quds Brigade” are already on the US sanctions list.
On the 22nd, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Swiss ambassador representing the US interests in Iran to deny the US “made-up botched accusation.”
Said Khatibzad, spokesperson for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the U.S. authorities “threw out baseless accusations before the election, with the purpose of shirking responsibility to promote its pre-set, undemocratic script.”
The United States unilaterally withdrew from the comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in May 2018 and resumed sanctions on Iran. The US has subsequently imposed sanctions on many occasions. On September 21 this year, the United States announced sanctions on 27 individuals and entities associated with Iran’s nuclear, missile and conventional weapons projects. Iranian officials responded at the time that the US move was “nothing new” and would not have any impact on Iran’s nuclear program.