Iran responds to U.S. National Security advisor threat

January 11, 2022 - 17:57

TEHRAN – Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, has reacted to a statement by U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan who warned about potentially harming U.S. citizens sanctioned by Iran. 

Regarding Sullivan's statement about Iran's new sanctions on American officials, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “The United States is used to unilaterally placing sanctions and putting pressure [on other countries] and it is not used to speaking [with them] on equal footing in line with international law.”

He added, “It must get accustomed [to the fact] that it cannot treat binding international rules as its domestic ones. What happened in the evening of January 3, 2020 was a flagrant war crime against high-ranking Iranian nationals.”

Khatibzadeh further noted, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will sue those who perpetrated, ordered, supervised, and played a role in this flagrant crime and will not spare any effort to bring them to justice.”

He said, “The only benefit of such desperate comments is that we consider them as accomplices to those who committed the crime at midnight of January 3. We will neither forgive nor forget and will do our utmost to pursue the US crime at that midnight.”

Iran has recently updated Counter-terrorism Designations regarding American Individuals Involved in the Terrorist Act against General Qassem Soleimani and his companions, which resulted in Iran designating more than 50 American individuals involved in the assassination of Iran’s top commander two years ago. 

A few days after Iran marked the second anniversary of the assassination of General Soleimani, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced the new designations. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in accordance with the ‘Act on Countering Violations of Human Rights and Adventurist and Terrorist Actions of the United States of America in the Region’, particularly, Articles 4 and 5, and in addition to the American individuals including Donald Trump[1], Michael Pompeo[2], John Bolton[3], Mark Esper[4], Gina Haspel[5], Christopher Miller[6] and Steven Mnuchin[7] and also Matthew Tueller[8], Steven Fagin[9] and Rob Waller[10] who were listed respectively on 19 January 2021 and 23 October 2020, identifies and imposes sanctions as set forth in the abovementioned Act on the following persons for the role they played in the terrorist act of the United States against Martyr General Qassem Soleimani and his companions, in glorification of terrorism and in violating the fundamental human rights,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It added, “The said persons, as the case may be, have taken part in decision-making, organizing, financing, and carrying out the terrorist act or have otherwise justified terrorism which is a threat to the international peace and security through supporting such egregious terrorist attack.”

The statement continued, “It is reiterated that United States by conducting the callous terrorist act has flagrantly breached its international legal obligations in countering terrorism and terrorism-financing, in particular, the obligation to refrain and desist from organizing and participating in terrorist acts and the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights which constitute internationally wrongful acts entailing the international responsibility of the United States. As such, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in conformity and compliance with its human rights obligations and also duties in combating terrorism and countering terrorism financing, in particular the state terrorism perpetrated by the United States and to ensure the international peace and security, imposes the sanctions as stipulated in the Act on the said persons on a reciprocal basis.”

It further said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran underlines that the heinous terrorist act will not in any manner diminish the resolute determination and resolve of the Islamic Republic of Iran in following the path of the revered General Soleimani in fighting terrorism and terrorist groups, in particular, the US-backed terrorist groups.”

Sullivan issued a statement that included a warning to Iran about targeting the sanctioned individuals. “Make no mistake: the United States of America will protect and defend its citizens. This includes those serving the United States now and those who formerly served.  As Americans, we have our disagreements on politics.  We have our disagreements on Iran policy.  But we are united in our resolve against threats and provocations,” he said in the statement. 

He added, “We are united in the defense of our people. We will work with our allies and partners to deter and respond to any attacks carried out by Iran. Should Iran attack any of our nationals, including any of the 51 people named yesterday, it will face severe consequences.”

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