WASHINGTON, D.C. — After a majority of members of the U.N. Security Council refused to pass the U.S. plan to extend sanctions against Iran in August, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized Germany for its commitment to the Iran nuclear deal signed under U.S. President Barack Obama, saying that the Trump Administration considers the agreement not only bad, but dangerous. Iran threatens to destroy America and Israel, said Pompeo, adding that Germany agrees with the U.S. on preventing Iran from trading weapons but has not offered an alternative plan.
As for the sanctions approved by the Trump Administration on Monday, the U.S. has produced a lengthy list of 27 individuals and entities involved in Iran’s nuclear program including the Defense Industries Organization of the Iranian Defense Ministry and its director Mohammad Akhlagi Kitabe, senior officials of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and people associated with the liquid-fuel ballistic missile organization known as the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG).
Sanctions also have been imposed on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Pompeo has accused both Venezuela and Iran, of violating the U.N. imposed embargo over the past two years.
At a press conference, Pompeo indicated that sanctions would be imposed on anyone who tries to violate the Iranian sanctions regime.
Iran responded to the U.S. statements by saying that such sanctions would have no effect and that they were nothing but propaganda.
However, in an effort to ease the years-long tension between the two sides, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that Iran is ready for a full prisoner exchange with the U.S.
Last June, an exchange of prisoners was reportedly conducted between the two countries.
Last week, the U.S. arrested two Iranians on charges of carrying out hacking operations against the digital infrastructure of the U.S. government, foreign universities, and non-profit organizations.