Almost all of the targets designated on Monday—including the Iranian defense ministry, its procurement arm, Iran’s atomic energy agency, several Iranian scientists—were already subject to U.S. sanctions that the administration had re-imposed after Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018.
The State Department has also designated the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “for conventional arms-related activities pursuant to the new Iran Conventional Arms Executive Order”.
“My actions today send a clear message to the Iranian regime and those in the international community who refuse to stand up to Iran,” President Donald Trump said in a statement, adding that his administration will use “every tool” at disposal “to stop Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and conventional weapons pursuits.”
“The U.N. arms embargo on Iran is now reimposed indefinitely, and we will ensure that it remains in place until Iran changes its behavior,” U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement.
“The new executive order gives us the tools to hold accountable actors who seek to evade the embargo,” he added.
The new executive order was issued just days after the U.S. announced it unilaterally reimposed U.N. sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the Iran nuclear deal.