NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) applauded the U.S. Department of Treasury’s action today against networks linked to “Iran’s missile and nuclear programs, sanctions evasion efforts, and support for terrorism.” Additionally, UANI expressed its disappointment with the Obama administration for renewing its waiver of sanctions on Iran's state broadcaster, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for another six months. IRIB is sanctioned by the U.S. for its involvement in the Iranian regime's human rights abuses, including the jamming of foreign broadcasts and the televising of forced confessions and show trials of political prisoners.
UANI first criticized the administration’s decision to waive sanctions on IRIB in February 2014 and called on the administration to reconsider this action given repeated administration pledges to fully enforce sanctions related to the Iranian regime's human rights violations.
UANI’s stance is supported by leading Iranian human rights activists. As quoted in The Wall Street Journal, "Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, said, "There is no justification to renew this waiver. The reason for sanctioning IRIB has not changed. Iran is still stopping signals from reaching their recipients. They use the broadcasts for their own propaganda purposes, while stopping Iranians from viewing international broadcasts."
Regarding the administration's sanctions action today and renewal of the sanctions waiver on IRIB, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, said:
We applaud Treasury for its action today. This is another reminder that doing illicit business with Iran can lead to serious financial and reputational harm. Businesses should understand that the risks of conducting business with Iran remain too high to permit a return to that market. We are still concerned, however, with the pace of Iran sanctions enforcement since President Rouhani's election. Today's action was Treasury's first Iran sanctions designations in more than 3 months. We call on the Obama administration to vigorously enforce sanctions throughout the duration of the Geneva Interim agreement.
Separately, we are disappointed that the Obama administration has renewed its waiver of sanctions on IRIB. The administration has repeatedly pledged that the sanctions relief it granted Iran would not include those sanctions related to human rights. It has failed to uphold that promise and maintain sanctions on IRIB given IRIB's continued role in facilitating human rights abuses in Iran.
Further, the administration says it renewed the waiver because the regime has ceased uplink satellite interference, but this has been nullified by the regime’s continued localized downlink jamming of foreign broadcasts. As such, it is troubling that the administration has taken these actions.
UANI's "Tech & Telecom Campaign" highlights the practices of firms that are involved in the Iranian regime's digital suppression of Iranians.
In previous responses to UANI's campaign, Spain's Hispasat, Hong Kong's Asiasat, Canada's Telesat, British telecommunications company Arqiva, and European satellite provider Eutelsat ceased the broadcast of regime programming. As a result of the U.S. sanctions waiver, Eutelsat and Intelsat have renewed their business with IRIB, despite the revenue being financial immaterial.
Click here to learn more about UANI's Tech and Telecom campaign.
Click here view UANI's Geneva Interim Agreement Tracker.