Advisors to US President-elect Joe Biden say the Trump administration is trying to make it harder for the Biden Democratic administration to re-engage with Iran.
On Wednesday, the United States blacklisted two Iranian foundations controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and their affiliates, claiming that these institutions enabled the Iranian elite to maintain a “corrupt” property system over time. large sections of the economy.
The designations announced by the US Treasury Department are aimed at the execution of the order of Imam Khomeini (EIKO) and Astan Quds Razavi (AQR), their officers and subsidiaries. These are the latest moves to bolster the “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran led by the administration of US President Donald Trump.
“These institutions allow Iran’s corrupt rulers to exploit a system of ownership over a wide range of sectors of the Iranian economy,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
US-Iran tensions have increased since Trump two years ago abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reinstated tough economic sanctions designed to force Tehran into a broader negotiation on reducing its nuclear program, developing China. ballistic missiles and support for regional proxy forces.
The Trump administration has stacked a barrage of sanctions against Iranian officials, politicians, and businesses, but has so far failed to get the Iranian government to the negotiating table.
U.S. officials have said there will be no slowdown in the campaign to pressure Iran in the final days of the Trump administration.
On Tuesday, Pompeo said without providing hard evidence that al-Qaeda had established a new base in Iran and that it was time “for America and all free nations to crush the Iran-al-Qaeda axis” .
Republican Trump is due to hand over power on Jan.20 to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, who said the United States would join the nuclear deal “if Iran resumes strict compliance.”
Biden’s advisers believe the Trump administration is trying to make it harder for him to re-engage with Iran.
With stakes in almost every sector of the Iranian economy, EIKO has built its empire on the systematic seizure of thousands of properties belonging to religious minorities, businessmen and Iranians living abroad, according to an investigation Reuters news agency in 2013, which estimated the network’s holdings at around $ 95 billion.
AQR is a multi-billion dollar religious conglomerate that owns mines, textile factories, a pharmaceutical factory, and even major oil and gas companies. The heads of AQR and EIKO are appointed by Khamenei.
“EIKO has systematically violated the rights of dissidents by confiscating land and property from opponents of the regime, including political opponents, religious minorities and Iranians in exile,” the Treasury said in a statement.
Sanctions freeze the US assets of targeted individuals and generally prevent Americans from doing business with them. Anyone who engages in certain transactions with these individuals and entities runs the risk of being hit with US sanctions.