U.S Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
January 31, 2020
“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.”
– Secretary Pompeo, Press Statement, January 31, 2020
HIGHLIGHTS FROM REMARKS BY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN HOOK AT A STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING ON JANUARY 30, 2020:
REGARDING NEW US SANCTIONS ON THE ATOMIC ENERGY ORGANIZATION OF IRAN (AEOI)
- “Today, we are sanctioning the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. These – we are also sanctioning its chief officer, Ali-Akbar Salehi. These sanctions are pursuant to Executive Order 13382, which targets WMD proliferators and their supporters.
- “The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has played a big role in Iran breaching its key nuclear commitments. It has exceeded the limits on its uranium stockpile and enrichment levels. The head of AEOI personally inaugurated the installation of new, advanced centrifuges to expand its uranium enrichment capacity. He also chaired a ceremony when Iran started injecting uranium gas into advanced IR-6 centrifuge machines.”
- “Additionally, the United States is renewing for 60 days four nuclear restrictions on Iran that permit the continuation of nonproliferation projects that constrain Iran’s nuclear activities. We will closely monitor all developments in Iran’s nuclear program, and Secretary Pompeo can end these projects as developments warrant.”
ON THE US HUMANITARIAN CHANNEL TO IRAN
- “Today, in coordination with Secretary Mnuchin at the Department of the Treasury, we are pleased to announce that we have completed the sale and delivery of cancer drugs and transplant drugs to Iran. A few months ago, we announced we were working with the Swiss on a new financial channel for humanitarian goods. We want companies to take advantage of the exemptions in our sanctions regime for food, medicine, medical devices, and agricultural products.”
- “So it’s a very good thing that Iranian cancer and transplant patients are now receiving critical treatments through this new channel. This channel applies strict due diligence measures to avoid misuse by the Iranian regime.”
- “While we work to provide the Iranian people with medicine, the regime makes no such effort. Last year, President Rouhani’s chief of staff sent a letter to ministers seeking an explanation for the, quote, “disappearance” of over one billion Euros intended for medical supplies. There are reports that two million Euros intended for heart stints were instead spent on electrical cable. $180 million for medical supplies were instead spent on tobacco and cigarette paper. I’m sure there are more examples we don’t know about, but the Iranian people know that their regime, not American sanctions, are to blame for their difficulties getting medical supplies.”
ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME SECURITY INITIATIVE (IMSC)
- “Finally, I want to give an update, a progress report, on our International Maritime Security initiative. This ensures the safety of shipping in the Gulf region and helps to disrupt and deter Iranian maritime attacks on commercial navigation.”
- “Earlier today, we marked the first change of command at the Maritime Security initiative at its headquarters in Bahrain. Commander – Commodore Parkin of the British Royal Navy is now taking over control of the IMSC and we thank the United Kingdom for their excellent leadership.”
- “We are proud of the effectiveness of our international efforts to secure economic commerce transiting the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. We currently have participation from Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, United Kingdom, and the United States. We expect further participation to be announced very soon.”
- “While the IMSC is separate from our maximum pressure campaign, I think it’s important that the international community ensure the safe – to safeguard global commerce and freedom of navigation throughout the region, which is where so much of the world’s oil supply flows through.”
- For more information, see the Special Briefing with Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook
DESIGNATION OF THE ATOMIC ENERGY ORGANIZATION OF IRAN, ALI AKBAR SALEHI, AND RENEWING NUCLEAR RESTRICTIONS
- 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.
- Please see Secretary Pompeo’s statement for more information.