Iran hits hawkish US expert with symbolic sanctions

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran on Sunday imposed symbolic sanctions on a hawkish former expert with the White House National Security Council, Iranian state media reported.

A statement from Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the sanctions on Richard Goldberg were implemented because of his role in what it called “U.S. economic terrorism against interests of the Islamic Republic and its citizens,“ the IRNA news agency reported.

Goldberg will not be eligible for Iranian visas or accounts in Iranian financial institutes, nor will he be qualified to have any financial transactions with Iranian entities, the statement said.

“Today I gain a new badge of honour: ‘sanctioned’ by Iran for co-ordinating @realDonaldTrump’s maximum pressure campaign,“ Goldberg tweeted Sunday.

Goldberg has been an advocate for tough measures against Iran, and until January worked on Iranian issues at the National Security Council.

He now works with the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, a Washington think-tank that’s long advocated a maximalist approach against Iran. Tehran sanctioned the think-tank and its CEO last August for their role in promoting sanctions and what the Islamic Republic called “economic terrorism” against Iran.

President Donald Trump reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran after he unilaterally withdrew America from the nuclear accord between Iran and Western powers in May 2018. Iran later responded by slowly abandoning nearly every aspect of the agreement, although it still allows U.N. inspectors access to its nuclear sites.

The sanctions have caused Iran’s oil exports, the country’s main source of income, to fall sharply.