In an utterly ridiculous move, Iran’s ruling theocracy updated its blacklist of U.S. officials who have supported the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). It seems that these personalities and lawmakers cannot spend their holidays in Iran under the world record holder of hangings per capita!
Some 61 officials have been added to the regime’s blacklist, including former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, his Republican colleague, Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, and several members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Some of these personalities reacted to this designation, including Ambassador Nathan Sales, the former Ambassador-at-Large of the Department of State Bureau of Counterterrorism. “Proud to join this illustrious club,” Ambassador Sales wrote on Twitter.
These sanctions, which target dozens of Americans, allow the regime to seize any assets, they hold in Iran. But since the listed U.S. officials have nothing in Iran, the steps “will likely be symbolic,” as Reuters described in a report on July 16.
The world’s godfather of terrorism has imposed sanctions on American officials for supporting the MEK, while the regime’s diplomat-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi, was apprehended in July 2018 for plotting to bomb the Iranian Resistance “Free Iran World Summit” in Paris. Many of the blacklisted distinguished American politicians and lawmakers attended the 2018 rally, and some are plaintiffs in Assadi’s case.
Tehran’s new sanctions are meaningless and rather a preposterous gesture to save face after receiving several heavy blows from the Iranian Resistance. This pathetic move comes days after a court in Sweden sentenced to life imprisonment Hamid Noury, a prison official who participated in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly MEK members.
In addition, while the regime had high hopes that its treaty with Belgium to swap prisoners could result in Assadi’s release, the Iranian Resistance’s global mobilization has prevented the Belgium government from implementing this treaty so far.
In a statement on July 16, broadcast on the Iranian opposition’s Simay-e Azadi satellite TV, Mr. Massoud Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance’s Leader commented on the regime’s terrorist designation of dozens of bipartisan U.S. lawmakers and distinguished personalities.
“These 61 personalities were among plaintiffs in the terrorism case in Belgium that involved terrorism directed by the ruling religious fascism in Iran. This is another reason why the Belgian government must not release the bomb-plotting diplomat and his accomplices. Considering the regime’s designation of US personalities, releasing Assadi and his accomplices is a flagrant violation of international law, and particularly UN Security Council Resolution 1373,” Mr. Rajavi said.
The Iranian regime faces a volatile society. On July 16, pensioners and retirees across Iran held protests, calling out the regime’s leader, mainly its president Ebrahim Raisi. Protests are expanding across the country due to the increasing social and economic crises resulting from the regime’s corruption, mismanagement, and ineptitude. Besides, more Iranian youths are attracted to the MEK, and the rising number of activities by the MEK’s Resistance Units across the country have terrified the regime.
On the other hand, after several rounds of futile nuclear talks with Iran’s ruling theocracy over its clandestine nuclear program or it seems that Western powers are losing hope in reviving the nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Therefore, the regime is facing the possibility of more international isolation.
These crises heavily impact the regime’s insiders and demoralize its forces. To boost their morale, Tehran makes empty gestures such as sanctioning U.S. officials or taking foreign hostages and continuing its nuclear extortion to extract more concessions from the West. But these actions are a testament to the regime’s weakness, not its power. As Mr. Rajavi said, the international community should respond firmly to the regime’s rampant terrorism and end appeasing the ayatollahs in Iran.