Washington D.C./28.04.23/Turan: The Biden administration on Thursday announced first-ever sanctions targeting Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Intelligence branch, or IRGC-IO, for facilitating the wrongful detention of U.S. citizens, TURAN’s Washington correspondent reports.
“Today – and every day – our message to Russia, Iran, and the world is holding hostage or wrongfully detaining Americans is unacceptable. Joe Biden stated in a press release that the Americans should be released as soon as possible.
State Department sanctions IRGC IO for its “participation in the wrongful imprisonment of at least one U.S. citizen abroad”. Secretary of state Antony Blinken said that the FSB had “repeatedly participated in the arrest, investigation and detention of U.S. Nationals wrongfully held in Russia”.
The Treasury Department announced sanctions against individuals and entities in Iran.
— Ruhollah Bazghandi, an IRGC-IO counterintelligence official;
— Mohammad Kazemi, IRGC-IO commander;
— Mohamad Mehdi Sayyari, IRGC-IO’s co-deputy chief;
— Mohammad Hasan Mohagheghi, IRGC-IO’s co-deputy chief
Sanctions aim to encourage better behavior, change bad behavior and incentivize good behavior. A senior administration official who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity before the announcement said that they hoped that sanctions would help to achieve this goal.
“These actors from Russia and Iran tried to use Americans as political leverage or to gain concessions from the United States. These actions are a threat to the stability and integrity the international political system. “It also threatens U.S. Nationals and other foreigners’ safety,” said the official.
Blinken said that the U.S. will “never stop” its efforts to free the U.S. nationals wrongfully held or detained as hostages and reunite them their families.
He said that “today’s action is one tool in furthering this cause and we will continue using all the authorities available to us to bring our people back home.”