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Iran announces ‘sanctions’ against Washington-based think tank

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif (U.S. Department of State/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says it has imposed sanctions on the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies and its CEO — saying the organization has promoted sanctions and “economic terrorism” against Iran.

Reports on August 24 by Iranian media, including the semiofficial Fars news agency, quoted a statement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry as saying the foundation and its CEO Mark Dubowitz had “intentionally” damaged Iran’s vital interests by “spreading lies” and campaigning against Iran.

The statement said the sanctions could be followed by judiciary actions against the foundation, Dubowitz, and Iranian colleagues.

Dubowitz responded to the Iranian move by saying his organization “considers its inclusion on any list put out by the regime as a badge of honor.”

The foundation has been strongly critical of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in Washington.

Under a 2017 law, Iran has occasionally imposed sanctions on American bodies.

But like U.S. sanctions, they have little effect unless a person actively uses the Iranian financial system.