Iran Policy statements

Activists with Reporters Without Borders demonstrate in front of Iran Air offices in Paris in 2012 to protest the imprisonment of journalists in Iran. Some of the signs say "Denounce Torture" and "Free Journalists." (© Francois Mori/AP Images)
Activists with Reporters Without Borders demonstrate in front of Iran Air offices in Paris in 2012 to protest the imprisonment of journalists in Iran. Some of the signs say "Denounce Torture" and "Free Journalists." (© Francois Mori/AP Images)

Key Documents on U.S. policy on Iran

Latest U.S. Policy News on Iran

June 24, 2019
Executive Order to Impose Sanctions on the Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran
Today, the White House issued an Executive Order sanctioning the Supreme Leaders Office and authorizing further sanctions on those associated with it. This action was taken as part of the Administrations maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime, which has engaged in 40 years of terror and aggression against the United States and our allies. Most recently, it targeted a U.S. unmanned aircraft and executed attacks on international shipping.

June 24, 2019
Joint Statement by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States on Yemen and the Region
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America express their concern over escalating tensions in the region and the dangers posed by Iranian destabilizing activity to peace and security both in Yemen and the broader region, including attacks on the oil tankers at Fujairah on 12 May and in the Gulf of Oman on 13 June. These attacks threaten the international waterways that we all rely on for shipping. Ships and their crews must be allowed to pass through international waters safely. We call on Iran to halt any further actions which threaten regional stability, and urge diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions.

May 28, 2019
Surging U.S. oil and gas output bolsters Iran sanctions
Sharply higher U.S. energy production and cooperation with other major energy producers are strengthening the Trump administration’s ability to impose sanctions on Iran. The U.S. remains in close consultation with major oil producers, as well as major organizations of oil consumers such as the International Energy Agency, to ensure that the global oil market remains well supplied.

May 23, 2019
Iran’s ‘systematic targeting’ of religious minorities
Recently, Christians in Iran faced a dramatic uptick in arrests — a 1,000 percent rise during 2018. The list includes more than 100 Christians detained for holding Christmas gatherings in their homes.

May 09, 2019
On Iran’s Escalating Series of Threatening Actions and Statements
“The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against U.S. interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive U.S. response. Our restraint to this point should not be mistaken by Iran for a lack of resolve.”

May 08, 2019
Latest U.S. sanctions target Iran’s metal sectors
President Trump signed an executive order May 8 that authorizes secondary sanctions on individuals and financial institutions dealing in Iranian metals in order to deny the Iranian regime the cash it needs to fund its terrorist activities around the world.

May 08, 2019
First Anniversary of President Trump’s New Iran Strategy
America is not countering Iran alone. Since our withdrawal from the deal, our allies and partners have stepped up to counter Iranian aggression with us. We have acted with countries from nearly every continent to disrupt Iran’s illicit oil shipping operations. The European Union passed new sanctions against Iranian entities in response to two foiled terror plots last year. Other nations have responded to Iran’s malign activity by recalling ambassadors, expelling Iranian diplomats, eliminating visa-free travel, or denying landing rights to Mahan Air.

May 03, 2019
Secretary Pompeo Tightens Nuclear Restrictions on Iran
The Trump administration continues to hold the Iranian regime accountable for activities that threaten the region’s stability and harm the Iranian people. This includes denying Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon. As part of the administration’s unprecedented maximum pressure campaign to address the full range of Iran’s destructive activities, Secretary Pompeo has today tightened restrictions on the regime’s nuclear program

May 01, 2019
Unconscionable Reports of Secret Executions of Minors in Iran
The Department of State is appalled by the Iranian regime’s secret execution of two 17-year old males, Mehdi Sohrabifar and Amin Sedaghat, in Adelabad prison in Shiraz, as reported by Amnesty International. According to this report, Iran has resumed its execution of minors, while attempting to keep this inhumane practice hidden from the world.

April 30, 2019
The Iranian Regime’s Crackdown on Women Activists
The United States strongly condemns the Iranian regime’s growing crackdown on women advocating for their human rights. We call on the Iranian authorities to end their harassment and imprisonment of women who are simply expressing their conscience and demanding basic rights.

April 30, 2019
Iran sinks in press freedom index
Media rights group Reporters Without Borders says Iran has slipped further toward the bottom of its World Press Freedom Index because of an increase in arrests of Iranian journalists and citizen-journalists.

April 22, 2019
U.S.: ‘No exceptions’ for Iranian oil importers
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on April 22 that the United States will end all exceptions for countries currently purchasing oil from Iran.
The secretary said the U.S. is fulfilling its promise to get Iran’s oil exports to zero and deny the regime the revenue it needs to fund terrorism and violent wars abroad.

April 01, 2019
U.S.: Iranian regime ‘does not invest in its own people’
At a time when the Iranian people are demanding fiscal accountability, the Iranian regime has spent more than $16 billion propping up Syria’s Assad regime and supporting its other partners and proxies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

February 25, 2019
U.S. preserves Iranian Embassy for Iranian people (video)
For the past 40 years, the United States has maintained the Iranian Embassy in Washington, anticipating the day the U.S. and Iran will resume diplomatic ties. But the violent regime in Tehran has prevented the resumption of ties.
Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State (biography) shares this message with the Iranian people.

February 13, 2019
A Look at the U.S. Strategy for Iran
The core objective of President Trump’s Iran Strategy is the systemic change in the Islamic Republic’s hostile and destabilizing actions, including blocking all paths to a nuclear weapon and exporting terrorism. Under the President’s direction, we have prioritized the maximum pressure campaign placing unprecedented stress on Iran’s economy, forcing Tehran to make increasingly difficult choices. As the Islamic Republic marks its 40th anniversary it is appropriate to assess how this strategy is proceeding, and how we will continue to implement President Trump’s guidance in the coming year.

February 11, 2019
Iran has jailed 1.7 million in Tehran region, report says 
Iranian authorities arrested and imprisoned at least 1.7 million of their own people in the Tehran area over the past four decades, and many were executed, a new report says.
Among them: more than 5,700 members of the Baha’i religious minority and at least 860 journalists and citizen-journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders. The Paris-based nongovernmental organization released its report “Forty years of state lies” February 7.

February 07, 2019
Attempted Space Launch by the Iranian Regime (State.gov)
In defiance of the international community, the Iranian regime continues to develop and test ballistic missiles, including a reported second failed space launch in less than a month. Space launch vehicles use technologies that are virtually identical and interchangeable with those used in ballistic missiles, including in Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). This attempted launch furthers Iran’s ability to eventually build such a weapon that threatens our allies.

2018

December 11, 2018
Remarks by President Trump at the Signing Ceremony for H.R. 390, Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018 (Whitehouse.gov)
“This bill continues my administration’s efforts to direct U.S. assistance toward persecuted communities, including through faith-based programs. It also allows the government agencies to assist a range of entities in investigating and prosecuting ISIS’s despicable acts. And they are very despicable indeed.
Today, we honor the memory of all those killed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and we renew our sacred commitment to religious freedom.”

November 30, 2018
The U.S. and UK Must Stand Together to Cut Off the Iranian Regime’s Funds for Terror
This month, the United States has turned up the pressure on Iran by imposing the toughest-ever sanctions to starve the regime of money to fund terrorism. Last week our European partners joined us by announcing proposed sanctions on Iranian intelligence officials suspected of plotting assassinations in EU Member States. This is a welcome step forward, but this progress could be undermined by the EU-sponsored proposal to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to enable companies to circumvent U.S. sanctions.

November 26, 2018
Iran’s President Works To Further Isolate Iranian Regime From Both World and Iranian People (State.gov)
Iranian President Rouhani has once again called for the destruction of Israel. He referred to it as a “cancerous tumor” and a “fake regime.” Such statements inflame tensions in the region by seemingly calling for war. At an international conference on Islamic unity, Rouhani also encouraged Muslims worldwide to unite against the United States. This is a dangerous and irresponsible step that will further deepen Iran’s isolation.

November 20, 2018
Treasury Designates Illicit Russia-Iran Oil Network Supporting the Assad Regime, Hizballah, and HAMAS (treasury.gov)
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating nine targets in an international network through which the Iranian regime, working with Russian companies, provides millions of barrels of oil to the Syrian government. The Assad regime, in turn, facilitates the movement of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars (USD) to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) for onward transfer to HAMAS and Hizballah. U.S. sanctions prohibit material support to the Government of Syria, including shipments of oil to Syrian government-controlled ports, as well as material support to designated terrorist groups.

November 20, 2018
Sanctions Announcement on Iran
The United States today sanctioned an international network by which the Iranian regime and Russia are providing millions of barrels of oil to the Assad regime in exchange for the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, and for onward transfer to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hizballah.

November 20, 2018
U.S. sanctions target conspiracy between Iran, Syria, and Russia to keep Assad regime in oil (The Telegraph website, registration required)
Ambassador Johnson’s op-ed in The Telegraph newspaper

November 02, 2018
President Donald J. Trump Is Reimposing All Sanctions Lifted Under the Unacceptable Iran Deal (Whitehouse.gov)
The United States has launched a campaign of economic pressure to deny the regime the funds it needs to advance its bloody agenda.

October 18, 2018
A Chronicle of Iran’s Destructive Activies
This report documents the magnitude of the Islamic Republic’s destructive activities at home and abroad. Many of the activities highlighted have occurred recently, while others date back to the early days of the revolution. As this report makes clear, the one constant is that the Iranian regime will do whatever it takes to maintain its grip on power and spread its revolutionary ideology.

October 15, 2018
Confronting Iran: The Trump Administration’s Strategy
“President Trump inherited a world in some ways as dangerous as the one faced by the United States on the eve of World War I, the one right before World War II, or that during the height of the Cold War. But his disruptive boldness, first on North Korea and now on Iran, has shown how much progress can be made by marrying clarity of conviction with an emphasis on nuclear nonproliferation and strong alliances. President Trump’s actions in confronting outlaw regimes stem from the belief that moral confrontation leads to diplomatic conciliation.”

October 11, 2018
Helping Iranians ‘take back their basic human rights’ (Video)
With a November 4 deadline approaching, after which a full slate of U.S. sanctions on the Iranian regime will return, U.S. officials met with members of the Iranian diaspora to highlight the plight of 800 prisoners of conscience held by the Iranian government and other human rights abuses by the regime against its own people.

Targets of Iran's Persecution
Targets of Iran's Persecution

September 25, 2018
Secretary Pompeo’s Remarks at the United Against Nuclear Iran Summit (state.gov)

September 25, 2018
Secretary Pompeo Addresses United Against Nuclear Iran Summit (state.gov)

August 16, 2018
Secretary Pompeo’s Remarks on the Creation of the Iran Action Group (State.gov)
“The Iran Action Group will be responsible for directing, reviewing, and coordinating all aspects of the State Department’s Iran-related activity, and it will report directly to me.
For nearly 40 years, the regime in Tehran has been responsible for a torrent of violent and destabilizing behavior against the United States, our allies, our partners, and indeed the Iranian people themselves. In May of this year, President Trump withdrew from the flawed Iran nuclear deal, which failed to restrain Iran’s nuclear progress or its campaigns of violence abroad. In its place President Trump has instituted a campaign of pressure, deterrence, and solidarity with the long-suffering Iranian people.
Our hope is that one day soon we can reach a new agreement with Iran. But we must see major changes in the regime’s behavior both inside and outside of its borders. The Iranian people and the world are demanding that Iran finally act like a normal nation.”

August 06, 2018
Senior Administration Officials Previewing Iran Sanctions (State.gov)  – A Special Briefing via teleconference.
“So today, I want to briefly describe the actions that we’re taking today. The President has issued a new Iran executive order to reimpose sanctions relating to Iran, as you know. On May 8th, the President issued a national security presidential memorandum which directed the secretaries of Treasury and State and others to take a number of actions. And today’s announcement is just the next step in implementing the President’s decision.
Specifically, we are reimposing sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the JCPOA. The snapback of these sanctions, again, supports the President’s decision to impose significant financial pressure on the Iranian regime, to continue to counter Iran’s blatant and ongoing malign activities, and then ultimately to seek a new agreement that addresses the totality of the Iranian threat.”

August 06, 2018
Statement from the President on the Reimposition of United States Sanctions with Respect to Iran (Whitehouse.gov)
Today, the United States is taking action to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions with respect to Iran that were lifted in connection with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015 (the “JCPOA”). These actions include reimposing sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector and on its trade in gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions related to the Iranian rial. These measures will take effect on August 7, 2018.

August 06, 2018
U.S. reinstates sanctions against Iran (ShareAmerica)
President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal in May and said the U.S. would reimpose sanctions on Iran after a 180-day wind-down period. On August 7 the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector, its trade in gold and other key metals, and its currency trading go back into effect.
The second round will kick in November 5 and will reimpose sanctions in these areas:

  • Iran’s port operators and the energy, shipping and shipbuilding sectors.
  • Iran’s petroleum-related transactions.
  • Transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran

The November 5 round will also re-list hundreds of individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft that were previously included on sanctions lists.

June 21, 2018
Iran draws international condemnation for execution of Sufi (ShareAmerica)
The United States and others around the world condemned the June 18 execution of Mohammad Salas, a member of the persecuted Iranian Gonabadi Dervish Sufi community. The U.S. called the execution “brutal and unjust.”
Salas, a 51-year-old bus driver and father of two, was hanged at the notorious Rajai Shahr Prison, known for its human rights abuses against the people of Iran.
Salas was forced to confess under torture to killing three police officers during the February 2018 clash between the Gonabadi Sufis and Iran’s security forces, according to reports. He was denied access to his lawyer, Zeynab Taheri, before and during his trial.

May 24, 2018
Letter to Chairman Kim Jong Un (Whitehouse.gov)  Singapore summit will not take place.

May 22, 2018
Secretary Pompeo’s Remarks at a Press Availability (State.gov) During a briefing at the State Department, Secretary Pompeo provides an update on President Trump’s constructive bilateral meeting with Korea’s President Moon Jae-in at the White House and discusses his remarks on the President’s Iran strategy:

“A final thought. I gave some remarks yesterday on the President’s strategy with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and I think it’s important that I re-emphasize that the tasks that Iran needs to undertake aren’t that difficult. I’ve seen reports that these are a fantasy and they can’t happen, but we ask for things that are really fairly simple that, frankly, most nations in the world engage in. We ask them to stop firing missiles into Riyadh. This is not – it’s not a fantasy to imagine the Iranians making a decision not to fire missiles into another nation and threatening American lives that travel through that airport. It’s not a fantasy to ask them to cease engaging in terror. These were all a set of demands, the demands we put on the rest of the world.
If it was the case that some other country in the Middle East desired to build a nuclear weapons system, we would work to stop them too. These are a set of simple requirements that the Iranian regime could quite easily comply with, and it would benefit the Iranian people to an enormous extent. And so, frankly, what we laid out seemed like a pretty straightforward set of requirements that we would put on any country in the world – to stop malign behavior that threatens other of its neighbors and other parts of the world. “

May 24, 2018
Letter to Chairman Kim Jong Un (Whitehouse.gov)  Singapore summit will not take place.

May 21, 2018
After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy (State.gov) Sec Pompeo: “We’ll continue to work with allies to counter the regime’s destabilizing activities in the region”

May 11, 2018
President Trump Says the Iran Deal is Defective at Its Core. A New One Will Require Real Commitments (Whitehouse.gov)
The Iranian regime cannot be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, was a flawed agreement that proclaimed this goal but ultimately did not address the threats posed by the regime.

May 8, 2018
Background Briefing on President Trump’s Decision To Withdraw From the JCPOA (State.gov)   “So the sanctions reimposition that the President talked about is going to come in two phases. There’s going to be one period for wind down that lasts about – that lasts 90 days, and one period of wind down that lasts six months. The six-month wind down – wind downs are, by the way, pretty standard across sanctions programs. So this is not Iran-specific, but oftentimes when we either impose sanctions or reimpose sanctions, we provide a wind down to allow both U.S. companies but foreign companies as well to end contracts, terminate business, get their money out of wherever the sanctions target is – in this case, Iran. Because what we want – we don’t want to do is we don’t want to impact or have unintended consequences on our allies and partners. We want to focus the costs and the pain on the target. And in this case, that’s the Iranian regime. ”

April 30, 2018
Secretary Pompeo on the Iran Atomic Archive  “The documents show that Iran had a secret nuclear weapons program for years. Iran sought to develop nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems. Iran hid a vast atomic archive from the world and from the IAEA — until today.”

April 30, 2018
Remarks on Iran Atomic Archive (State.gov)
Secretary Pompeo’s remarks on aircraft en-route to Joint Base Andrews

April 23, 2018
2017 Human Rights Report – Iran Executive Summary (Virtual Embassy Iran)

April 18, 2018
Iranian people suffer as government spends on terrorism  (Virtual Embassy Iran) Iranians are telling their government they need better economic opportunities and more responsive governance. Instead of spurring economic growth, the Iranian government is exporting billions to support global terror.

March 20, 2018
Fostering Internet Freedom and Supporting the Iranian People (Virtual Embassy Iran)
Treasury Department Reaffirms Commitment to Fostering Internet Freedom and Supporting the Iranian People

 

2017

October 13, 2017 President Donald J. Trump’s New Strategy on Iran   President Donald J. Trump, in consultation with his national security team, has approved a new strategy for Iran. It is the culmination of nine months of deliberation with Congress and our allies on how to best protect American security.

October 13, 2017 WTAS: Praise for President Donald J. Trump’s New Strategy on Iran (Whitehouse.gov)   Senator John McCain (R-AZ): “For years, the Iranian regime has literally been getting away with murder. Meanwhile, the United States has lacked a comprehensive strategy to meet the multifaceted threat Iran poses. The goals President Trump presented in his speech today are a welcomed long overdue change.”

17 May 2017 U.S. State Department Issues Report on Human Rights Sanctions on Iran (State.gov)   The State Department released today its semi-annual report to Congress detailing sanctions imposed on persons involved in human rights abuses in Iran. The report cites recent sanctions against the Tehran Prisons Organization and Sohrab Soleimani, the former head of the Tehran Prisons Organization, as required by the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010, as amended by the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012.

Other sources of policy news include the following websites: