Iran sanctions 61 Americans as nuclear talks come to a halt

One day before Iran announced its new sanctions, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and national security advisor Jake Sullivan still expressed a desire to return to the JCPOA
Image
Iranians burn U.S. and Israeli flags, Tehran, Jan. 6, 2020
Iranians burn U.S. and Israeli flags, Tehran, Jan. 6, 2020
ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images

Iran announced new sanctions on Saturday targeting dozens of Americans as the Biden administration's discussions with Tehran about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal came to a halt.

Iran targeted U.S. politicians from both sides of the aisle who are affiliated with the anti-regime Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) group, which calls to overthrow the Iranian government. 

At the top of the list is former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, followed by former New Jersey Democrat Sen. Robert Torricelli. The list also features 2000 Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, as well as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, attorney to former President Donald Trump.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) are included on the list of Americans sanctioned by Iran, according to a press release from the Islamic Republic's Foreign Ministry.

Iran stated, as translated, that it had charged 61 Americans with "intentionally supporting the terrorist group of the hypocrites," known as MEK.

Tehran accused the sanctioned Americans of "offering political and propaganda support" to MEK.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry made the announcement as President Joe Biden concluded his trip to the Middle East, where Iran's nuclear capabilities were a primary topic of discussion. 

The sanctions would allow Iran to seize any assets the 61 Americans may hold in the country, making the announcement largely symbolic given the fact that those sanctioned are unlikely to have any assets in the fundamentalist country.

One day before Iran announced its new sanctions, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and national security advisor Jake Sullivan still expressed a desire to return to the Iran nuclear deal known as the JCPOA.