The United States has designated 13 Iranians for allegedly being involved in an assassination in Switzerland in 1990, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
"Friday, August 21 marks the annual Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism. To both remember and honor these victims, today the U.S. Department of State is announcing visa restrictions on 14 Iranian individuals for their involvement in gross violations of human rights on behalf of the Iranian regime, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror", the statement, published on the US State Department's website, said.
According to the statement, the restrictions also apply to the "immediate family members" of the alleged suspects.
"The United States will continue to pressure Iran to treat its own people with dignity and respect. Iran conducts assassinations and terrorism abroad to spread its reign of terror well beyond its own borders. Today’s action includes visa restrictions on 13 officials involved in a brutal and intricately planned assassination carried out in Switzerland in 1990 as part of Iran’s ongoing worldwide terrorism campaign", the statement continued.
The US also designated Hojatollah Khodaei Souri, who as "director of Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, oversaw an institution synonymous with torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment", the statement added.
Pompeo also stated that Washington is "initiating the restoration of virtually all sanctions on Iran lifted under UN Security Council Resolution 2231" and that the sanctions will go "back into effect in 30 days".
I notified the @UN Secretary-General and the Security Council President that the U.S. is initiating the restoration of virtually all sanctions on Iran lifted under UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Those sanctions will go back into effect in 30 days. America will not appease. pic.twitter.com/NGzffu34a4— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 21, 2020
Washington has announced plans to trigger the snapback mechanism to re-impose all the UN sanctions against Iran — previously lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — after failing to get the UN Security Council to pass a resolution aiming to indefinitely extend the UN arms embargo on Tehran. The arms embargo is set to expire in October under the terms of the nuclear agreement. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has commented on the matter, saying that Washington’s move to trigger snapback sanctions linked to the JCPOA was "illegal".
The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, stipulating the removal of international sanctions from Tehran in exchange for it scaling down its nuclear programme. The deal was then sanctified in UNSC Resolution 2231, including a provision on a five-year arms embargo.
The United States unilaterally abandoned the agreement in May of 2018.
On 24 April 1990, Exiled Iranian opposition figure Kazem Rajavi was shot dead in his car in the village of Coppet, near Geneva, Switzerland.
Swiss prosecutors voiced suspicions that the Iranian authorities were behind the assassination and drafted a list of 13 Iranians suspected of actively taking part.