Former Trump UN Envoy Feels ‘Honoured’ After Getting Added to Iran’s Terror Listing
11:56 GMT 09.01.2022 (Updated: 12:10 GMT 09.01.2022)
The Islamic Republic sanctioned 51 senior former and current US officials on Saturday over their suspected role in the 2020 drone strike assassination of Qasem Soleimani – Iran’s top anti-terror commander, as well as “the glorification of terrorism” generally.
Former Trump-era US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has expressed pride in being included among the dozens of US officials added to Iran’s terrorism sanctions listing.
Taking to Twitter, Haley said she was honoured to get sanctioned by the "world’s leading state sponsor of terror", adding that this proves that she was "doing something right".
“An absolute badge of honour”, he added in a second tweet Sunday morning.
‘World’s leading state sponsor of terror’ is a term often used by Haley and other members of the Trump administration to refer to the Islamic Republic, particularly following Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. Tehran has dismissed the designation, with its officials suggesting that it was the US and its allies that have acted like ‘terrorists’ in the region. In 2020, after the US State Department designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organisation, Tehran responded by labelling the entire US military terrorists.
The back-and-forth recriminations have lessened somewhat under the Biden administration as the White House has engaged Iran in negotiations in Vienna on a possible US return to the nuclear agreement.
Haley served as US ambassador to the UN from 2017 to 2018 before leaving office to become a member of the board of directors at aerospace and defence giant Boeing.
She and fifty other senior current and former US officials, including the top Pentagon brass, were added to an Iranian sanctions listing Saturday over their suspected involvement in the assassination of Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, or their role generally “in [the] glorification of terrorism and in violating the fundamental human rights.”
8 January 2022, 12:25 GMT
Iran’s sanctions, known as the ‘Act on Countering Violations of Human Rights and Adventurist and Terrorist Actions of the United States of America in the Region’, allow authorities to seize any assets the individuals in the listing may have in Iran, and are thus largely considered symbolic, given that the two countries have had no formal diplomatic relations for over forty years now.
In a statement outlining the new restrictions, Iran’s foreign ministry specified that “by committing the terrorist act [against Soleimani], the US government has clearly violated its international obligations in the field of countering terrorism and terrorist financing, in particular, refraining from organizing terrorist acts.”
Along with Haley, former Trump national security advisor Robert O’Brien, current Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mark Milley, United States Cyber Command chief Paul Nakasone, and others were added to the updated listing. Donald Trump, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, former national security advisor John Bolton, and former CIA director Gina Haspel were designated earlier.
Iran marked the second anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination on 3 January. The commander – who served as an advisor to the Iraqi and Syrian militaries and Iraqi anti-terror militias in the fight against Daesh (ISIS)*, al-Qaeda* and other terrorist groups, was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq in January 2020 during a diplomatic mission aimed at easing regional tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
* Terrorist groups outlawed in Russia and many other countries.