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Pompeo Calls Iran's Sanctions Against An American Think Tank 'Intimidation'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks following a meeting of the UN Security Council at UN headquarters in New York, U.S., August 20, 2019.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a tweet has called “on all freedom-loving people around the world” to condemn “threats” from Iran against Foundation for Defense of Democracies, FDD, an American think tank.

Iran’s foreign ministry announced sanctions against the Washington-based think tank and its chief executive Mark Dubowitz on August 24 for being “effectively involved, in a conscious and intentional manner, in designing, imposing and intensifying the impacts of economic terrorism against Iran." Economic terrorism is Iran's jargon for U.S. sanctions.

The think tank issued a statement saying, "FDD conducts independent research and analysis on national security issues. The Islamic Republic prohibits such freedoms at home, and would like to do so abroad as well."

The statement also said the Islamic Republic "continues to brutally repress the peoples of Iran, stealing their wealth and creating destruction and chaos in the Middle East," and responded to Iran's measure saying “FDD considers its inclusion on any list put out by the regime as a badge of honor and looks forward to the day when Americans and others can visit a free and democratic Iran.”

Pompeo called Iran’s action an intimidation attempt in his tweet and added, “The U.S. does not take these threats lightly, and will hold the regime and its “apparatuses” to account.”

The Iranian Foreign Ministry justified its action based on the "Law on Countering the Violation of Human Rights and Adventurous and Terrorist Activities of the United States in the Region" passed on August 13, 2017.

The State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus also condemned Iran’s action August 25 saying, “The outlaw regime in Iran issued a threat today against @FDD, an American think tank, and its CEO. The U.S. takes the regime’s threats seriously. We intend to hold Iran responsible for directly or indirectly compromising the safety of any American.”