Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With John Roberts of Fox News America Reports

19 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Via Teleconference

QUESTION:  A Fox News alert now, the United States leveling perhaps the most serious charge a country can face, accusing China in the last hour and a bit of committing genocide and crimes against humanity in its repression of Uyghur Muslims.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement just a short time ago.  He joins us now for an exclusive interview.

Mr. Secretary, good to have you with us.  Let me just read if I could from your statement.  You said, quote, “I have determined that the People’s Republic of China, under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party, has committed genocide and crimes against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups.”

A very significant declaration, obviously one that China will oppose vigorously, but also one that sort of runs counter to what President Trump’s position has been for the last couple of years.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Well, John, thanks for having me on.  This is a very serious and tragic set of actions that are taking place there in the western part of China.  We have been talking and working on this for an awfully long time in the Trump administration.  We have sanctioned officials.  We have told businesses they couldn’t bring products out of this region.  We’ve told businesses to be very careful that they could be too close to what’s taking place there, right.

This is forced labor.  This is forced sterilizations, forced abortions – John, the kind of things that we haven’t seen in an awfully long time in this world.  And we now have conducted an exhaustive review of the facts and made the determination that, in fact, the Chinese Communist Party has committed these crimes against humanity, is continuing to try and deny these people – not just the Uyghur Muslims but other faiths as well – the simple capacity to continue to exist and to create an ethnic set of activities that we haven’t seen in an awfully long time.

I’ve referred to this over time as the stain of the century.  It is truly that.  And today’s actions is simply a continuation of the work this administration has done to try and convince the Chinese Communist Party to cease this terrible, terrible set of human rights violations that have been taking place.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, since you made the announcement a little more than an hour ago, it has received a tremendous amount of approval in the United States Congress, particularly from your Republican colleagues.  This was something that then-candidate Joe Biden proclaimed about a year ago.  Now, obviously when you’re a candidate it’s much easier to say something than when you are the State Department, but some of your Republican colleagues – Ben Sasse notably – are saying, “What took so long?”

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Look, I’m happy to accept that critique.  What took so long is when you do something like this, you have to be right.  You have to – and I think this will be a bipartisan analysis that will be shared by a broad swath of American leadership.  Indeed, leaders all across the world I think will recognize that the United States got this right.

But John, this is a serious matter.  We didn’t take it lightly.  We wanted to continue to work.  There were lots of vigorous discussions all across the United States Government.  We talked with people all across the world.  We relied on facts that came from nongovernmental organizations, journalists, other governments to make sure that we had everything just right, and we wouldn’t have done this if we weren’t convinced that these declarations, this determination that I have issued today, was proper, appropriate, and would hopefully lead to better lives for people in this region.  That, in the end, John, is our objective.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, you, like the President, are in the last hours of your tenure at the State Department.  Looking ahead to the Biden administration, we’re wondering what we can expect.  In an exclusive interview with foxnews.com, counterintelligence chief Bill Evanina saying, quote, “We have to educate America so they know what malign influence tastes like, smells like, looks like, so when they see it they can call it out.  I think the challenge for the Biden administration will be to understand the scope and scale of some of the Chinese threats in the American landscape domestically and what is the best course to defeat that.”

Here we have a president-elect who not long ago said, “China is going to eat our lunch?  Come on, man.”  Do you believe that the Biden administration will be fully equipped to handle what many people say is the greatest future threat facing America?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  John, I’m counting on it.  More importantly, the American people are counting on it.  This threat – the work that President Trump has done to identify the risk – he talked about it with tariffs and economic issues.  We’ve talked about it with spies operating out of a consulate in Houston.  This challenge, the threat from the Chinese Communist Party, is real; it is existential to the United States.  We have to get this right.  And I am counting on the next administration continuing our work, continuing to build out on the things that we have done in the exact way that the American people will demand.

I have great confidence that the American people have come to understand this challenge from the Chinese Communist Party and will expect every leader, whatever political stripe, to continue to protect and secure American freedoms.

QUESTION:  Your presumed successor, Antony Blinken, begins his confirmation hearing in about an hour.  He says in his opening statement, quote, “Humility and confidence should be the flip sides of America’s leadership coin … Humility because we have a great deal of work to do at home to enhance our standing abroad.”

There are some critics who are saying this sounds like Obama redux.  Is he going to begin with an apology tour?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Boy, I sure hope not, John.  I’m proud of this country.  Our founders recognized it was an imperfect union.  We all strive to be better.  But this is the most exceptional nation in the history of civilization.  I am proud of the work that the Trump administration has done in the Middle East, on China that we’ve been talking about.  We made life better for people all across the world.  We recognized that the people of Iran and North Korea deserved better, and we worked diligently to achieve that.  It ought not be an America that we apologize for.  We should be proud of the greatness, the uniqueness, and the exceptionalism of the United States of America.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, it’s been good to talk to you.  We wish you well post-administration.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Thank you, John.

QUESTION:  Thanks so much for joining us exclusively today.  We really appreciate it.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Thank you, John.  Have a good day.

QUESTION:  You, too.

 

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Determination of the Secretary of State on Atrocities in Xinjiang

19 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The United States of America has led the world in holding the perpetrators of the most heinous human rights abuses accountable. From the Nuremberg Trials, to the creation of the Genocide Convention in 1948, to the declaration of ISIS’s recent genocide against the Yazidis, Christians, and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, Americans have given voice to those who have been silenced by evil, and stood with the living who cry out for truth, the rule of law, and justice. We do so not because we are compelled to act by any international court, multilateral body, or domestic political concern. We do so because it is right.

For the past four years, this Administration has exposed the nature of the Chinese Communist Party and called it what it is: a Marxist-Leninist regime that exerts power over the long-suffering Chinese people through brainwashing and brute force. We have paid particular attention to the CCP’s treatment of the Uyghur people, a Muslim minority group that resides largely in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China. While the CCP has always exhibited a profound hostility to all people of faith, we have watched with growing alarm the Party’s increasingly repressive treatment of the Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups.

Our exhaustive documentation of the PRC’s actions in Xinjiang confirms that since at least March 2017, local authorities dramatically escalated their decades-long campaign of repression against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, including ethnic Kazakhs and ethnic Kyrgyz. Their morally repugnant, wholesale policies, practices, and abuses are designed systematically to discriminate against and surveil ethnic Uyghurs as a unique demographic and ethnic group, restrict their freedom to travel, emigrate, and attend schools, and deny other basic human rights of assembly, speech, and worship. PRC authorities have conducted forced sterilizations and abortions on Uyghur women, coerced them to marry non-Uyghurs, and separated Uyghur children from their families.

Party apparatchiks have denied international observers unhindered access to Xinjiang and denounced reliable reports about the worsening situation on the ground, instead spinning fanciful tales of happy Uyghurs participating in educational, counter-terror, women’s empowerment, and poverty alleviation projects. Meanwhile, they are delivering far darker messages to their own people, portraying Uyghurs as “malignant tumors,” comparing their faith to a “communicable plague,” and exhorting the Party faithful to implement a crushing blow, telling them “you can’t uproot all the weeds hidden among the crops in the field one-by-one; you need to spray chemicals to kill them all.”

Since the Allied forces exposed the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, the refrain “Never again” has become the civilized world’s rallying cry against these horrors. Just because an atrocity is perpetrated in a manner that is different than what we have observed in the past, does not make it any less an atrocity. Today, I thus make the following determinations:

  1. After careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that since at least March 2017, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), under the direction and control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has committed crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. These crimes are ongoing and include: the arbitrary imprisonmentor other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians, forced sterilization, torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained, forced labor, and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. The Nuremberg Tribunals at the end of World War II prosecuted perpetrators for crimes against humanity, the same crimes being perpetrated in Xinjiang.
  2. In addition, after careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the PRC, under the direction and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state. The governing authorities of the second most economically, militarily, and politically powerful country on earth have made clear that they are engaged in the forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group, even as they simultaneously assert their country as a global leader and attempt to remold the international system in their image.

The United States calls upon the PRC immediately to release all arbitrarily detained persons and abolish its system of internment, detention camps, house arrest and forced labor; cease coercive population control measures, including forced sterilizations, forced abortion, forced birth control, and the removal of children from their families; end all torture and abuse in places of detention; end the persecution of Uyghurs and other members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China, and afford Uyghurs and other persecuted minorities the freedom to travel and emigrate.

We further call on all appropriate multilateral and relevant juridical bodies, to join the United States in our effort to promote accountability for those responsible for these atrocities. I have directed the U.S. Department of State to continue to investigate and collect relevant information regarding the ongoing atrocities occurring in Xinjiang, and to make this evidence available to appropriate authorities and the international community to the extent allowable by law. The United States, on its part, has spoken out and taken action, implementing a range of sanctions against senior CCP leaders and state-run enterprises that fund the architecture of repression across Xinjiang.

The United States has worked exhaustively to pull into the light what the Communist Party and General Secretary Xi Jinping wish to keep hidden through obfuscation, propaganda, and coercion. Beijing’s atrocities in Xinjiang represent an extreme affront to the Uyghurs, the people of China, and civilized people everywhere. We will not remain silent. If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, imagine what it will be emboldened to do to the free world, in the not-so-distant future.

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The United States Takes Further Action Against Enablers of Venezuelan Oil Transactions, Including Sanctions Evasion Network

19 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The United States has sanctioned three individuals and 11 entities for their ties to a network helping Nicolas Maduro and his illegitimate regime evade U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector.  This action builds on previous sanctions targeting individuals and entities involved in a sanctions-evasion scheme benefitting the illegitimate Maduro regime and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), which the regime uses as its primary conduit for corruption to exploit and profit from Venezuela’s natural resources.  The principal actors in the evasion network include Alessandro Bazzoni, Francisco Javier D’Agostino Casado, Philipp Paul Vartan Apikian, Elemento Ltd, and Swissoil Trading SA.

Additionally, OFAC is designating three companies located in Russia, Ukraine, and Venezuela, and identifying as blocked property six vessels that have recently been involved in the lifting and transport of Venezuelan oil.  This action aims to increase pressure on international shipping entities to disengage from the Venezuelan oil sector and further limit the illegitimate Maduro regime’s options for selling oil.

Those facilitating Maduro’s attempts to circumvent U.S. sanctions enable him to continue his repressive practices against the Venezuelan people while pillaging Venezuela’s resources to enrich himself and his cronies.  The United States remains committed to promoting accountability for those involved in facilitating illegitimate transactions that benefit Maduro and his corrupt network while contributing to the suffering of the Venezuelan people.  We will continue to use the full weight of U.S. economic and diplomatic power to promote the peaceful transition to a once-again free, prosperous, and stable Venezuela.

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Visa Restrictions on Tanzanians for Undermining the Democratic Process and Human Rights

19 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Today, the United States is announcing visa restrictions on Tanzanian officials responsible for or complicit in undermining Tanzania’s October 28, 2020, general elections.  The actions of these officials subverted the electoral process, continuing the downward trajectory of the country’s democracy.  Election observers and civil society noted widespread irregularities as well as human rights abuses and violations before, during, and after the election.  Opposition candidates were routinely disqualified, harassed, and arrested.  Significant and widespread voting irregularities, internet disruptions, intimidation of journalists, and violence by security forces made this election neither free nor fair.  Civil society leaders remain under threat in the post-election period, and opposition leaders have fled the country out of fear for their safety.

We urge the Government of Tanzania to reverse course and hold accountable those responsible for the flawed election, violence, and intimidation.  The United States will continue to closely follow developments in Tanzania and will not hesitate to take additional actions against individuals complicit in undermining democracy and violating human rights.  Finally, we emphasize that today’s actions are not directed at the Tanzanian people.  We commend Tanzanians who participated in the election peacefully and in good faith, and we will work together with all those committed to advancing democracy, human rights, and mutual prosperity.

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Championing America’s First Freedom

16 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Today, the United States commemorates National Religious Freedom Day.  On this day, more than 230 years ago, Thomas Jefferson penned the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, landmark legislation that inspired the enshrinement of freedom of religion or belief in the First Amendment of the Constitution and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The United States reaffirms its commitment to advancing religious freedom around the world, including ensuring the right of every person to exercise their freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; change their beliefs; worship alone or in community; and teach their beliefs.

Our framers understood that a nation flourishes when individuals can exercise their freedom of religion or belief.  A government’s role is to protect this right, not to propagate a particular religious ideology.

On National Religious Freedom Day, we renew our resolve to champion religious freedom as America’s first freedom and a universal human right around world.

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Ensuring a Transparent, Thorough Investigation of COVID-19’s Origin

16 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The United States has repeatedly called for a transparent and thorough investigation into the origin of COVID-19. Understanding the origin of this pandemic is essential for global public health, economic recovery, and international security.

To assist the vital work of the World Health Organization (WHO) investigative team that arrived in China this week, the United States government is today sharing new information concerning the activities inside China’s government laboratories in 2019.

In particular, we urge the WHO to press the government of China to address the following:

  1. Illnesses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV): The United States government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was “zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.
  1. WIV Research on “RaTG13” and “gain of function”: Starting in at least 2016, WIV researchers studied RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar). Since the outbreak, the WIV has not been transparent nor consistent about its work with RaTG13 or other similar viruses, including possible “gain of function” experiments to enhance transmissibility or lethality.
  1. Secret WIV Links to Military Research: Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.

The COVID-19 pandemic was avoidable. Any responsible country would have invited world health investigators to Wuhan within days of an outbreak. China instead refused offers of help – including from the United States – and punished brave Chinese doctors, scientists, and journalists who tried to alert the world to the dangers of the virus. Beijing continues today to withhold vital information that scientists need to protect the world from this deadly virus, and the next one.

The United States reiterates the importance of unfettered access to virus samples, lab records and personnel, eyewitnesses, and whistleblowers to ensure the credibility of the WHO’s final report. Until the CCP allows a full and thorough accounting of what happened in Wuhan, it is only a matter of time until China births another pandemic and inflicts it on the Chinese people, and the world.

Fact Sheet: Activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology

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Designating PRC and Hong Kong Officials After Widespread Pro-Democracy Arrests in Hong Kong

15 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Today, the United States is designating six PRC and Hong Kong officials in connection with the draconian National Security Law (NSL), pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13936, “The President’s Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization.”

On January 6, Hong Kong authorities arrested more than 50 people in an appalling crackdown on pro-democracy politicians and activists who were trying to advance fair and open primary elections for Hong Kong’s Legislative Council.  Thirteen former Legislative Council members, an American lawyer, and a former law professor were among those reportedly detained before being released on bail.  This action by Hong Kong authorities is yet another stark example of Hong Kong’s freedoms and democratic processes being fundamentally undermined by the PRC.

In response, the Department of State is designating You Quan, Vice Chairman of the Central Leading Group on Hong Kong and Macau Affairs; Sun Wenqing AKA Sun Qingye, Deputy Director of the Office for Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR; and Tam Yiu-Chung, Hong Kong delegate to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, for being or having been leaders or officials of entities, including any government entity, that have engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, developing, adopting, or implementing the National Security Law.  Additionally, the Department is designating Frederic Choi Chin-Pang, Kelvin Kong Hok Lai, and Andrew Kan Kai Yan, officials in the National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police, for being foreign persons who are or have been leaders or officials of an entity, including any government entity that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, coercing, arresting, detaining, or imprisoning individuals under the authority of, or in developing, adopting, or implementing, the NSL.  All of these designations are pursuant to section 4(a)(iii)(A) of E.O. 13936.

The United States calls on the PRC and Hong Kong authorities to immediately release individuals who have been targeted under the NSL or other laws simply for exercising rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Basic Law and Joint Declaration, and to dismiss the charges against them.  We condemn PRC actions that erode Hong Kong’s freedoms and democratic processes and will continue to use all tools at our disposable to hold those responsible to account.

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United States Places Global Magnitsky Sanctions on the Cuban Ministry of Interior and Its Minister

15 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Today, the United States is imposing sanctions on the Cuban Ministry of Interior (MININT) and Minister of Interior General Lazaro Alberto Álvarez Casas for their connection to serious human rights abuse under Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

MININT is designated for being responsible for, complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse.  As minister of MININT, Álvarez Casas is also designated for being or having been a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse.

Specialized units of MININT’s state security branch are responsible for monitoring political activity, and Cuba’s police support these security units by arresting persons of interest to MININT.  In September 2019, Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer was held in a MININT-controlled prison in Cuba, where he reported being beaten, abused, and held in isolation.  Ferrer received no medical attention while in prison and was not allowed to read or write.

Ferrer’s case is just one example of the systematic and daily abuse that the regime’s Interior Ministry inflicts on the Cuban people.  Today, the Cuban regime holds more than 100 political prisoners and Ministry officials have overseen the torture of many of those detainees.  Álvarez Casas, in his role as the vice minister of MININT before his promotion to his current position in November 2020, is complicit in harassing and surveilling journalists, dissidents, activists, and members of civil society groups, including most recently the members of the peaceful San Isidro Movement.

The United States supports the Cuban people’s just aspirations for democracy, prosperity, and respect for their human rights, and we are implementing this designation in support of those aspirations.  The Castro regime’s repression of fundamental freedoms requires the condemnation and action of all countries that respect human dignity.  We call upon other governments and international organizations to demand accountability of the Cuban government for violating and abusing the rights of the Cuban people.

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Imposing Sanctions Related to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and Iranian Shipping Entities

15 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

In June 2020, the State Department sanctioned the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) pursuant to Executive Order 13382 (WMD Proliferators and Their Supporters).  At that time, we underscored the fact that IRISL is the preferred shipping line for Iranian proliferators and procurement agents.  We have warned industry that those who do business with IRISL, its subsidiaries, and other Iranian shipping entities, risk sanctions.  Today, we are sanctioning seven entities and two individuals for such conduct.

As a part of this action, the State Department is imposing sanctions on IRISL pursuant to Section 1245(a)(1)(C)(i)(II) of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act (IFCA).  IRISL knowingly transferred, directly or indirectly, to Iran grain-oriented electrical steel to at least one Iranian person on the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury (SDN List), namely Hoopad Darya Shipping Agency Company (and thus this grain-oriented electrical steel was transferred to Hoopad Darya Shipping Agency Company).  The State Department is also imposing sanctions on Mohammad Reza Modarres Khiabani, the Chief Executive Officer of IRISL, who has been determined to be a principal executive officer, or person performing similar functions and with similar authorities, of IRISL.

The State Department is also designating the PRC-based Jiangyin Mascot Special Steel Co., LTD pursuant to Section 1245(a)(1)(C)(i)(II) of IFCA.  Jiangyin Mascot Special Steel Co., LTD knowingly transferred grain-oriented electrical steel to Iran via the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) (and thus this grain-oriented electrical steel was transferred to IRISL); IRISL is an Iranian person on the SDN list.

The State Department is also designating Iran Transfo Company and Zangan Distribution Transformer Company pursuant to IFCA Section 1245(a)(1)(C)(i)(II).  Both of these entities knowingly transferred (imported), directly or indirectly, to Iran grain-oriented electrical steel to at least one Iranian person on the SDN List, namely Hoopad Darya Shipping Agency Company (and thus this grain-oriented electrical steel was transferred to Hoopad Darya Shipping Agency Company).

Separately, the State Department is also designating the UAE-based Accenture Building Materials, Iran’s Mobarakeh Steel Company, and the IRISL subsidiary Sapid Shipping pursuant to IFCA Section 1245(a)(1)(C)(i)(II).  Accenture Building Materials knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred, directly or indirectly, to or from Iran raw or semi-finished steel and the steel was sold, supplied, or transferred to or from an Iranian person (Sapid Shipping) included on the SDN List.  Accenture Building Materials also knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred, directly or indirectly, to or from Iran raw or semi-finished steel and the steel was sold, supplied, or transferred to or from an Iranian person (Mobarakeh Steel Company) included on the SDN List.

Mobarakeh Steel Company knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred, directly or indirectly, to or from Iran, raw or semi-finished steel and the steel was sold, supplied, or transferred to or from an Iranian person (Sapid Shipping and IRISL) included on the SDN List.  The State Department is also imposing sanctions on Hamidreza Azimian, the Chief Executive Officer of Mobarakeh Steel Company, who has been determined to be a principal executive officer, or person performing similar functions and with similar authorities, of Mobarakeh Steel Company.

Sapid Shipping knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred, directly or indirectly, to or from Iran raw or semi-finished steel and the steel was sold, supplied, or transferred to or from an Iranian person (Mobarakeh Steel Company) included on the SDN List.

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Imposing Sanctions on Iranian Entities for Activities Related to Conventional Arms Proliferation

15 Jan

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Iranian conventional arms proliferation poses a persistent threat to regional and international security, as evidenced by Iran’s continued military support and confirmed arms transfers that fuel ongoing conflict in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere.

On September 21, we announced the implementation of Executive Order 13949 that provides the United States additional tools to hold accountable those actors who seek to abet Iran in supporting armed groups in the region with weapons and arms materiel.  The first designations under this authority included Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO) and Nicolas Maduro, the illegitimate ruler of Venezuela.

Today, we are announcing the designation of Iran’s Marine Industries Organization (MIO), Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), and the Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO) for engaging in activities that materially contribute to the supply, sale, or transfer, directly or indirectly, to or from Iran, or for the use in or benefit of Iran, of arms or related materiel, including spare parts.  Each of these entities manufactures lethal military equipment for Iran’s military, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization that is also designated under our authority targeting Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferators and their supporters.  This military equipment, which includes attack boats, missiles, and combat drones, provides a means for the Iranian regime to perpetrate its global terror campaign.  MIO, AIO, and IAIO were all previously sanctioned pursuant to the same WMD counterproliferation authority.

We call upon all states to prohibit the sale, supply, or transfer of arms or related material to or from Iran.  The United States will continue working with its partners in the international community to pressure the Iranian regime to fundamentally change its behavior.  Peace loving countries need to work together to constrain Iran’s malign activities. We welcome allies and partners on board our campaign focused on maintaining international peace and security.

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