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Pompeo Says U.S. Does Not Want New Sanctions To Harm Ordinary Iranians

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo listens during the news conference in Reykjavik, February 15, 2019

The Persian Twitter channel of the U.S. State Department has published a short interview with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who says that Washington wants to apply more sanctions on individuals and institutions violating human rights in Iran but wants to do it in a way as not to hurt ordinary Iranians.

In the video Pompeo answers a question posed by an Iranian as to why the administration does not sanction the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) or Iran’s intelligence ministry for their violations of human rights. He answers that it is sad Iranian officials fail to protect those rights and reiterates “We want to do our part”.

Pompeo then goes on explaining that the administration has sanctioned around 140 individuals and entities and is looking for ways to do more but in a way as not to “penalize” ordinary people. He added that “We will continue to look to find out who the wrongdoers are”.

The U.S. imposed heavy sanctions on Iran in 2018 related to its role in the Middle East and its missile program. These sanctions have put Iran’s economy in a deep recession, with high inflation and unemployment.

While many anti-regime activists agree with the U.S. policy, some have voiced concern that sanctions mainly hurt helpless, ordinary people and not the establishment. But even some among the critics are ready to accept sanctions for human rights violations.