U.S. Policy

September 20, 2019
On September 20, President Trump announced sanctions on Iran’s central bank. “We’ve never done it at this level,” he told reporters in the Oval Office. “It’s too bad what’s happening with Iran. It’s going to hell.” Trump added, “They are broke and they could solve the problem very easily. All they…
September 18, 2019
On September 18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities an “act of war.” Pompeo, who was traveling to the kingdom to discuss a response, told reporters the September 14 strikes had the "fingerprints of the Ayatollah." He denied claims that the attacks…
September 18, 2019
In September 2019, members of Congress were divided over how the Trump administration should respond to attacks that damaged oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Democrats were united in demanding the White House seek authorization from Congress prior to any military action against Iran. Senator Chris…
September 18, 2019
On September 18, President Trump announced the appointment of Robert O'Brien as his new national security advisor. Since May 2018, O'Brien has served as the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. He also worked on Afghanistan judicial reform under the Obama Administration and as a…
September 17, 2019
President Trump’s reactions to the drone strikes on Saudi oil facilities have ranged from confrontational to conciliatory. After the September 14 attacks, Trump seemed to threaten an armed response. He tweeted the United States was “locked and loaded” as it investigated the culprit. On September 16…
September 4, 2019
A French initiative to broker direct talks between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been a roller coaster since both leaders indicated a possible willingness to meet. On August 26, French President Emanuel Macron announced a “roadmap of sorts” after talks with Trump and…
September 4, 2019
On September 4, the U.S. Treasury designated an “oil for terror” network accused of aiding the IRGC in funding its terrorist operations. The network consisted of 25 entities and individuals and 11 vessels involved in hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit oil sales. Brian Hook, the U.S. special…
September 3, 2019
On August 30, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned the Iranian oil tanker, the Adrian Darya-1, which it accused of transporting 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil on behalf of the IRGC. The ship, formerly named the Grace 1, was detained by Britain off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4 for attempting…
September 3, 2019
On September 3, the United States imposed new sanctions on Iran’s space program for supporting ballistic missile development. The move came after Iran’s failed attempt to launch a space vehicle on August 29. “Iran’s civilian space launch vehicle program allows it to gain experience with various…
August 29, 2019
On August 29, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned four individuals responsible for transferring tens of millions of dollars between Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hamas in Gaza. Muhammad Sarur, Kamal Abdelrahman Aref Awad, Fawaz Mahmud Ali Nasser, and Muhammad Kamal are accused of funneling…