Yesterday, OFAC designated 5 Iranians “link[ed] to Iran’s ballistic missile program”. The following 4 individuals were designated pursuant to Executive Order 13224 for providing “ballistic missile-related technical expertise to Yemen’s Huthis… on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF)”: Mahmud Bagheri Kazemabad, Mohammad Agha Ja’fari, Javad Bordbar Shir Amin and Mehdi Azarpisheh. The remaining Iranian individual – Sayyed Mohammad Ali Haddadnezhad Tehrani – was designated pursuant to Executive Order 13382 for acting/supporting/assisting the ‘IRGC Research and Self-Sufficiency Jehad Organization’, which itself was designated in July 2018 for being “responsible for the research and development of ballistic missiles”. As a result, asset freezing measures apply to the designated individuals. See OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.
On 21 May 2018, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech reaffirming US commitment to the ‘Iran strategy’ President Trump had laid down in October 2017 (previous blog). In particular, that the US would “continue to work with allies to counter the [Iranian] regime’s destabilizing activities in the region, block their financing of terror, and address Iran’s proliferation of missiles and other advanced weapons systems that threaten peace and stability. We will also ensure Iran has no path to a nuclear weapon – not now, not ever”. In order to pursue those “goals on Iran”, Mr Pompeo said that the US “will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime”, with sanctions “going back in full effect and new ones coming… This sting of sanctions will be painful if the regime does not change its course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen to one that rejoins the league of nations. These will indeed end up being the strongest sanctions in history when we are complete.”