Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehran in April 2019. (Iran Leader’s Press Office - handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Iran Sanctions US-based Think-tank

Iran has blacklisted the US-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) – along with its CEO Mark Dubowitz – over its role in helping Washington devise and impose economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Tehran’s Foreign Ministry in a statement claimed that, “the American institution [FDD] with the deceitful name… [was] intensifying the impacts of economic terrorism against Iran.” The hawkish think-tank was accused of doing so by “fabricating and spreading lies… providing consultations [to and] lobbying [the US government], and launching a smear campaign [targeting Tehran].” The FDD describes itself as a “non-partisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.” It strongly opposed the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for placing limits on its atomic program. The Iranian economy has tanked since President Donald Trump in May 2018 withdrew from the nuclear pact and re-imposed financial penalties. For example, the Islamic Republic’s oil exports have fallen by over 80 percent – from about 2.5 million barrels per day to about 400,000 bpd – over the same period.

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