Iran sanctions Mike Pompeo, Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton as nuclear talks stall

With no apparent assets in Iran, the move will probably be symbolic

Iran has sanctioned former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and 60 others. AP
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Iran sanctioned ex-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and 60 other Americans on Saturday for backing a dissident group, as months of talks to revive a 2015 nuclear deal are at an impasse.

Others blacklisted by Iran's Foreign Ministry for voicing support for the exiled dissident group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) included former president Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani and former White House national security adviser John Bolton, Iranian state media reported.

The sanctions, issued against dozens of Americans in the past on various grounds, let Iranian authorities seize any assets they hold in Iran.

However, the apparent absence of such assets means the steps will probably be symbolic.

Mr Giuliani, Mr Pompeo and Mr Bolton have been widely reported to have taken part in MEK events and voiced support for the group.

In January, Iran imposed sanctions on 51 Americans, and it blacklisted 24 more Americans in April in its latest sanctions moves.

Mr Biden's administration on Saturday pledged to support all Americans despite any disagreements over politics or policy.

"The United States will protect and defend its citizens. This includes those serving the United States now and those who formerly served," a State Department spokesperson said on Saturday. "We are united in our resolve against threats and provocations, and we will work with our allies and partners to deter and respond to any attacks carried out by Iran."

Iran's indirect talks with the United States on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact began in November in Vienna and continued in Qatar in June. But the negotiations have faced a months-long impasse.

In 2018, then-US president Trump abandoned the deal, calling it too soft on Iran, and reimposed harsh US sanctions, spurring Tehran to breach nuclear limits in the pact.

Updated: June 19, 2023, 5:25 AM