Iran says it has blacklisted the United States’ Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller and two other diplomats over their key role in carrying out acts of terror, violating the fundamental principles of human rights and imposing ‘cruel and illegal sanctions’ against the Islamic Republic.
In a statement issued on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that in cooperation with other responsible bodies it had imposed sanctions on Tueller, Steve Fagin, the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Baghdad, and Erbil Rob Waller, the Consul General, based on adequate evidence and in line with a bill overwhelmingly approved by Iranian lawmakers in 2017 to confront “America’s terrorist and adventurous actions” in the region.
The statement added that the three American diplomats have had “an effective engagement in organizing, financing, leading and committing terrorist acts against the interests of the government or citizens” of Iran.
They had also supported terrorist groups, including Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra – formerly known as al-Nusra Front – and played an effective role in promoting state terrorism against regional nations, it said.
According to the statement, the three individuals were also involved in the assassination of Iran’s anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Suleimani in Iraq in early January.
The Foreign Ministry statement pointed to the three diplomats’ influence in Washington’s move to impose “cruel and illegal” sanctions on the Iranian people.
President Donald Trump of the United States, a hawkish critic of the JCPOA – the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers – unilaterally withdrew Washington from the agreement in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism.
In a post on his Twitter page, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced sanctions on the US ambassador and the two other diplomats, saying, “Anti-Iran moves won’t go unanswered.”
US Amb. to Iraq, Matthew Tueller, has had a central role in coordinating terrorist acts in Iraq & beyond, in criminal assassination of Gen. Suleimani & in advancing sanx agst our ppl. Today, Iran designated him & two other officials involved.
The Foreign Ministry’s move came a day after the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions against Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi, alleging that the envoy was a “close adviser” to General Suleimani.
The Treasury claimed that Masjedi had employed the capacity as Tehran’s ambassador to “obfuscate financial transfers” benefitting the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
In response, Masjedi said he was “pleased to hear the news” that the “terrorist and criminal regime of the United States has put me once more on the list of its unjust sanctions alongside 80 million Iranians.”