Iran Sanctions Trump, U.S. Officials

On January 19, Iran sanctioned Donald Trump and top U.S. officials on his last full day as president. The move was largely symbolic, given that the officials were leaving office and did not have assets in Iran. The foreign ministry accused the Trump administration of perpetrating “terrorist and anti-human rights” acts, including expanding military support for Israel and imposing sanctions on Iran. The list of officials sanctioned included political and military personnel allegedly involved in the assassination of Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani in January 2020. Tehran also implicated the U.S. officials in the assassination of prominent nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020, which Iran initially blamed on Israel. 

Trump administration officials sanctioned included:

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
  • Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller
  • Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel
  • Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams
  • Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Andrea Gacki

Former administration officials sanctioned included:

  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper
  • National Security Adviser John Bolton
  • Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook


Statement by Foreign Ministry on January 19: “In line with implementing “Countering the US' Human Rights Violations as well as Adventurist and Terrorist Moves in the Region Act” ratified by the Iranian Parliament, the foreign ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran has put on Iran’s sanctions list a number of US individuals for committing terrorist crimes as well as promoting and supporting terrorism, which poses a serious threat to regional and international peace and security, and for breaching basic regulations and fundamental principles of international law, including human rights regulations.

“The U.S. authorities which will be put on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s sanctions list as of today include President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Defence Secretary Mark Esper, Acting Secretary of Defence Christopher Miller, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Gina Haspel, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, Head of the Iran Action Group and former Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, the US State Department’s Special Representative for Iran Elliott Abrams, and Andrea Gacki, the acting Deputy Director as well as the Associate Director for Compliance and Enforcement at the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury.

“These individuals have been put under sanctions for reasons such as issuing orders to conduct, and leading the operation to assassinate martyr General Qassem Soleimani and his companions, organizing and supporting acts of terror against the Islamic Republic of Iran, creating, sponsoring, offering weapons to, and training terrorist groups, offering all-out support to the Israeli regime’s oppression against the Palestinian nation, especially the terrorist acts committed by this regime in the assassination Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, imposing cruel, illegal and unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian nation, and acting deliberately to impose special living conditions on Iranians, including by preventing Iranians from gaining access to food and medicines as well as medical services and equipment, supporting oppressive regimes in the region, backing crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Yemen by the above-mentioned regimes, and having active and all-out links to the terrorist MKO group and offering political, propaganda and cultural support for this group which has committed numerous terrorist acts against the interests of the government and citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran reminds them that based on the basics of international law, the imposition of unilateral actions (coercive unilateral actions) amounts to blatant violation of the fundamental principles of international law stipulated in the UN Charter and [principles] against international law, including humanitarian international law, and prevent the realization of human rights.

“Accordingly, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to adopt the necessary measures to counter international acts of violation by the US in all domains."