Tehran has announced new sanctions on scores of US political and military figures. Among those in the fresh sanction list, the names of some high-rank military officers are outstanding. Iran’s move targets and widens suspects in the killing top commander Qassem Soleimani two years ago.
Iran’s foreign ministry announced yesterday that a group of 51 American citizens are on a no-fly list. The group are in the list due to their role in January 2020 assassination of IRGC commander at Baghdad airport.
The commander of Quds Force, the cross-border branch of IRGC, lost his life in a drone attack. US then-president Donald Trump ordered the attack that aimed the physical removal of Iranian troops head in Iraq and Syria.
Among the prominent figures affected by the fresh sanctions are US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Central Command leader Kenneth McKenzie. Besides, Tehran sanctioned Pentagon executives and military officers at various US bases in the Middle East.
These people don’t seem to own properties that may be confiscated by Iranian authorities. The Iranian policy, nevertheless, seems to be a political counter-actions to the US violation of international conventions through the sanctions.
Iran has slapped sanctions the ordered of the attack, Donald Trump, and his Secretary of State year earlier. Iranian 2021 sanction list also included eight others for their roles in the assassination of Soleimani. Tehran made the official arrangements for their apprehension through the Interpol based on the criminal documents and evidence.
Iran’s second wave of sanctions come while the country commemorated the second anniversary of his assassination. Tehran has also called for the trial of Donald Trump as the commander of the operation.
Sanctions; A Part of Revenge Initiative
Iranian President stated during a Soleimani commemoration address that Trump, Pompeo, and other perpetrators must face prosecution in a “fair court”. Raisi warned that the alternative would be Iran’s revenge attempts in a coordinated attempt with its supporters in the “resistance axis“.
Soleimani was recurrently noted about his leadership of resistance axis that cover large parts of the Middle East and beyond. From Yemen to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf, Soleimani had influence on human rights activists and democratic movements.
Tehran has also urged the United Nations and the Security Council to take official step against the United States and Israel. Iran find the latter responsible for intelligence and military cooperation in Soleimani assassination operations.
The IRGC unveiled a number of domestic missiles a day earlier. The main Iranian military forces claim that theses missile were used in a January 2020 attack on two American bases. The attacks were part of the Iranian revenge program against US targets, the main one targeting the al-Assad airbase.
the US government, under Trump, unilaterally pulled out of nuclear agreement with Tehran. Trump replaced the JCPOA with a “maximum pressure” initiative against Iran that included punishing sanctions.
Iran and the other parties to the JCPOA are currently in intensive talks in Vienna in an attempt to salvage the agreement. Officials from the Biden cabinet are attending the discussions indirectly.
Tehran has sought the lifting of Washington’s illegal sanctions before dialing back the nuclear program. Following US withdrawal, Iran started a step-by-step program swiftly enhancing its nuclear capability beyond the JCPOA limits.
By words and conduct, Iran has signaled its will to revenge the physical removal of its commander in Iraq. Sanction may be a preliminary step to what would be hard to predict as Iran’s next step.