Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated US President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton on imposing new sanctions on the heads of Iran’s military nuclear program.
The US Department of Treasury on Saturday announced that it leveled sanctions against 14 individuals and 17 entities who are connected with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), which has provided support to designated Iranian defense entities and whose personnel played a central role in the Iranian regime’s past nuclear weapons effort.
SPND has been involved in Iran’s weapons research program, the Amad nuclear weapons project, and has also been designated by the European Union in 2012 for directly supporting Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities.
“The US government is taking decisive action against actors at all levels in connection with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research who have supported the Iranian regime’s defense sector,” stated Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The US will “continue applying maximum pressure to the Iranian regime, using all economic tools to prevent Iran from developing weapons of mass destruction. Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial isolation,” Mnuchin warned.
Following the US’ announcement, Netanyahu charged that “Iran continues to deceive the international community and lie to the world about its military nuclear program. The Iranian regime continues to conceal its capabilities and to strive for nuclear weapons. Iran endangers the peace of the Middle East and the entire world and must be blocked.”
The Treasury stated that its action “serves as a warning to individuals and entities considering dealing with the Iranian regime’s defense sector in general, and SPND in particular: by engaging in sanctionable activity with designated Iranian persons, you risk professional, personal, and financial isolation.”
Netanyahu left Israel for Washington on Saturday night and is slated to discuss Iran with Trump during their meeting on Monday.
Netanyahu’s office stated that Netanyahu he will discuss with Trump “the Iranian aggression, Iran’s efforts to entrench militarily in Syria, how to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons and the tightening of cooperation on security and intelligence matters.”
“I am leaving for Washington tonight to meet with President Trump. I will thank him for the American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. I will discuss with him the continuation of our joint struggle against Iranian aggression. Our steps will only increase,” the Israeli premier stated before boarding his flight.