U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY ANTONY J. BLINKEN
April 27, 2023
Sanctioning Russian Federation and Iranian State Actors Responsible for the Wrongful Detention of U.S. Nationals
The United States has no higher commitment than bringing home wrongfully detained Americans. Today, we are promoting accountability for those responsible for wrongfully detaining U.S. nationals abroad. Our actions are a clear and direct warning to those around the world who wrongfully detain U.S. nationals of the potential consequences of their actions.
The Department of State is designating Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) for its involvement in the wrongful detention of at least one U.S. national abroad. The FSB has repeatedly been involved in the arrest, investigation, and detention of U.S. nationals wrongfully detained in Russia.
The Department is also designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Intelligence Organization (IRGC-IO) for its involvement in the wrongful detention of at least one U.S. national abroad. Concurrently, the Department of the Treasury is designating four senior officials in the IRGC-IO.
Russia’s and Iran’s continued pattern of wrongfully detaining U.S. nationals is unacceptable. The United States will never stop working to secure the release of U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage and reunite them with their loved ones. Today’s actions are one tool furthering that cause, and we will continue to use all authorities at our disposal to bring our people home.
In July 2022, the President signed E.O. 14078 to provide the U.S. government with expanded tools to deter and disrupt hostage-taking and wrongful detentions of U.S. nationals, including imposing financial sanctions and visa restrictions. State’s designations of the FSB and IRGC-IO are pursuant to Section 6(a)(i)(A) of E.O. 14078 for being responsible for or complicit in, directly or indirectly engaged in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the wrongful detention of a U.S. national abroad. Treasury designations of senior IRGC-IO officials are under E.O. 14078 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the IRGC-IO, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 14078.
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