Biden Administration Sanctions Two Iranian Officials

The move comes as the US claims it is hoping to revive the JCPOA, but more sanctions will only complicate the process

While the Biden administration claims it seeks a return to diplomacy with Iran and a revival of the nuclear deal, its actions speak differently. Escalating tensions with the Islamic Republic, the State Department announced sanctions on two Iranian officials on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the US was blacklisting two interrogators from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for alleged human rights violations related to protests in 2019 and 2020.

The sanctions bar the individuals and their families from entering the US. But IRGC members are already denied Visas to the US due to the Trump administration designating the group as a terror organization in 2019, so the sanctions are largely symbolic.

The timing of the sanctions will complicate the process of reviving the JCPOA. The Biden administration is demanding that Iran return to the nuclear limits set by the agreement before US sanctions are lifted.

Since the US is the party that violated the deal, Iran wants Biden to act first. Tehran has been signaling that it might be willing to enter informal talks with the US before sanctions are lifted, but the new measures announced Tuesday will only discourage Iran’s flexibility.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.