The United States of America targets nine people close to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini. This include chief of staff and one of his sons and the head of the judiciary.
Interestingly, the move coincides with the 40th anniversary of Iran’s seizure of the US embassy in Tehran. Moreover, the US Treasury Department will also blacklist Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “today the Treasury Department is targeting the unelected officials who surround Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini.” Moreover, they are also looking for those “who implement his destabilizing policies”.
Abbas Mousavi, Iran’s foreign minister spokesman calls it “a sign of the desperation and inability of the regime.” Further, the US use this move as they are not “benefitting from a diplomatic and logical approach” to important international issues, according to the official IRAN news agency.
The countries share hostile relations since more than 50 Americans were held hostage at the embassy for 444 days. In 2015, the US President Donald Trump withdraws from Iran Nuclear Accord. Along with this, the United States of America reinstated sanctions to chock oil exports. Thus, isolating Iranian economy.
This has resulted in accelerated tension between both countries. While tightening the sanction noose, President Trump leaves open the diplomatic channels which signalled a willingness to meet with Iran’s top leaders.
Along with this, the US State Department announced a new reward of up to $20 million for information about Robert Levinson.
The United States of America reiterated for the “release of all the missing and wrongfully detained Americans”. Moreover, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “we will not rest until they are reunited with their families”.
Importantly, the sanctions are designed to impose more limits on Khamenei’s inner circle, the official mentions.