Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Press Statement by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
January 31, 2020
In response to the Iranian regime’s series of provocative nuclear escalations, the Department of State designated the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and its head, Ali Akbar Salehi, pursuant to Executive Order 13382, which targets Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferators and their supporters. The United States is committed to taking any action necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
AEOI and Salehi were designated for having engaged, or attempted to engage, in activities or transactions that have materially contributed to, or pose a risk of materially contributing to, the proliferation of WMD by a foreign country of proliferation concern. AEOI has played a leading role in Iran’s nonperformance of its key nuclear commitments, such as exceeding the limits on its uranium stockpile and enrichment levels. Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of AEOI, personally inaugurated the installation of new, advanced centrifuges as part of Iran’s recent effort to expand its uranium enrichment capacity and chaired a ceremony at which Iran started injecting uranium gas into advanced IR-6 centrifuge machines.
The United States also renewed four nuclear restrictions on Iran for an additional 60 days. We will closely monitor all developments in Iran’s nuclear program and can adjust these restrictions at any time.
Iran’s continued nuclear escalation underscores the serious challenge the Iranian regime poses to international peace and security. The time is now for the international community to stand together against Iran’s nuclear extortion. If the world is concerned with Iran’s behavior now, it should consider how Iran would behave with a nuclear weapon.