This was originally posted on Treasury Notes, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Treasury. You can read the original post here.
Adam Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, concluded his visit to Israel, where he met with senior Israeli government officials and thought leaders to discuss the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as well as our shared efforts to counter Iran’s support for terrorism, its missile program, and other malign activities. The trip was the first to Israel by a Treasury Department official since the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 partners was reached in July.
Endorsed by the United Nations Security Council and more than 100 countries, the JCPOA is a historic deal that cuts off all pathways for Iran to build a nuclear weapon, puts in place intrusive inspections, and ensures that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful.
During the trip, Acting Under Secretary Szubin met with senior Israeli government officials – including National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen, Minister for Energy and Infrastructure Yuval Steinitz, and Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dore Gold. He also spoke with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and participated in a roundtable with key Israeli think tanks. Throughout these discussions, Acting Under Secretary Szubin addressed questions and misconceptions about the nuclear deal and underscored the importance of the United States and Israel intensifying our joint work in the intelligence, financial, and diplomatic arenas to effectively counter terrorist groups like Hizballah and other violent extremists supported by Iran through the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-Qods Force.
The deal reached in Vienna in July makes the United States and Israel more secure by foreclosing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon.
Sanctions relief under the JCPOA will only occur after the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has completed key nuclear steps – and even then, with narrow exceptions, this relief only applies to the United States’ nuclear-related secondary sanctions. This means that we will maintain an array of authorities to counter Iran’s ongoing illicit conduct. Our trade embargo on Iran will remain in effect except for narrow exceptions, and we will not lift sanctions that target Iran’s support for terrorist groups, its abuses of human rights, or its destabilizing activities in the region.
The United States sees Iran clearly for what it is: the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and destabilizing force in the region.
Iran’s active support to groups like Hizballah and reliance on the IRGC-Qods Force only heightens the imperative to cut off Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb. That’s why the nuclear deal is so critical; the world is far better positioned to confront those threats with Iran’s nuclear program held in check. That’s also why the United States is keeping firmly in place the whole array of U.S. sanctions targeting Iran outside the nuclear realm. In fact, under the JCPOA, more than 200 Iran-linked persons will remain designated by the United States and subject to direct U.S. and secondary sanctions, including the networks of the IRGC, IRGC-Qods force, major Iranian companies, and key military and defense entities and firms.
The United States and Israel will continue to work together on key diplomatic and security issues to foster stability in the region and ensure continued security for Israel.
- New York Times: Obama’s Sanctions Chief to Defend Iran Accord in Israel
- Wall Street Journal: U.S. Point Man on Iran Sanctions to Visit Israel to Meet Netanyahu Aides
- Reuters: Senior U.S. official to travel to Israel to discuss Iran deal
- Associated Press: US sanctions chief visits Israel amid Iran jitters
Jamie Obal is a media affairs specialist at the U.S. Department of Treasury.