October 19, 2019

Iran Sanctions U.S. Think Tank

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) speaks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (not pictured) at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China August 26, 2019. How Hwee Young/Pool via REUTERS

The Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on Aug. 24 that they are sanctioning the Washington, D.C.-based think-tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) over their criticisms of the regime.

According to the state-run Mehr News Agency, the ministry is accusing the FDD of promulgating “economic terrorism” through their critiques of the Iranian regime and singled out the think-tank’s CEO, Mark Dubowitz.

Taking any actions by the judicial and security apparatuses against the FDD and their Iranian and non-Iranian accomplices will be considered legitimate as their actions are against Iran’s national security and the interests of Iranian people and government,” the Mehr News report states.

The FDD responded in a statement that they consider Iran’s sanctions “a badge of honor” and will continue their work against the Iranian regime.

The Islamic Republic, which has occupied the great nation of Iran for four decades, continues to brutally repress the peoples of Iran, stealing their wealth and creating destruction and chaos in the Middle East,” the think-tank’s statement read. “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.”

Dubowitz tweeted, “Remember: it’s not ‘Iran’ or the ‘Iranian regime’ because there’s nothing Iranian about this odious regime. It’s the Islamic Republic & its regime that illegally occupies & brutalizes the great nation of Iran.”

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus tweeted, “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.”

Many across the political spectrum tweeted in solidarity with FDD:

The FDD was founded in 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks and  focuses on research and policy proscriptions toward “strengthening U.S. national security and reducing or eliminating threats posed by adversaries and enemies of the United States and other free nations,” according to the think-tank’s website.