On Saturday, Iran slapped penalties on dozens of Americans, many of them were members of the US military, in connection with the drone strike that killed General Qassem Soleimani in 2020.
According to Iran’s Foreign Ministry, the 51 Americans were targeted for “terrorism” and human rights breaches. The action allows Iranian authorities to take whatever assets they have in Iran, although given the apparent lack of such assets, it is likely to be symbolic.
According to a statement reported by local media, the 51 were targeted for “their involvement in the US terrorist act against the deceased General Qassem Soleimani and his colleagues, as well as the promotion of terrorism and abuses of fundamental human rights.”
Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, the overseas component of the elite Revolutionary Guards, was assassinated in Iraq by a drone attack authorized by then-President Donald Trump on January 3, 2020.
US General Mark Milley, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former White House national security advisor Robert O’Brien were among those placed to Iran’s sanctions list.
In a similar measure taken a year ago, Iran sanctioned Trump and many key US officials for “terrorist and anti-human rights” actions.
On the second anniversary of Soleimani’s death, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi declared this week that Trump must stand prosecution for the crime or face retaliation from Tehran.
After withdrawing from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with foreign powers in 2018, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian officials, legislators, and businesses.
Iran and the United States are now pursuing indirect negotiations in Vienna to save the 2015 agreement.