On Monday, US President Joe Biden announced sanctions against former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence.
A statement was issued by the White House says, “Today, we are imposing sanctions on former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence under the Levinson Act for their involvement in unlawful arrests”.
The statement added, “We’ll continue to impose costs on Iran due to its provocative actions in the region”.
The US president Joe Biden called on Tehran to provide a complete account of what happened to Bob Levinson, the former FBI officer who disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in 2011 and later died in custody in an Iranian prison, according to the US government.
The new US sanctions come after Iran released 5 American prisoners as part of a prisoner exchange deal between the two countries, under which Washington released 5 Iranians detainees.
Regarding the prisoner deal, Biden welcomed the release of American prisoners, saying: “I am grateful to our partners at home and abroad for their tireless efforts to help us achieve this outcome, including the governments of Qatar, Oman, Switzerland, and South Korea”.
Biden particularly thanked the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, and the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq, who helped for months in facilitating the deal, according to the statement.
Biden urged US passport holders not to travel to Iran, stressing that his administration is steadfast in its efforts to return every American held hostage or illegally detained to their homeland.
Last August, Iran and the United States reached a Qatari-brokered agreement to exchange prisoners and lift the freeze on Iranian assets in South Korea and Iraq.
In a related context, Iranian officials confirmed, on Monday evening, that the United States had released five of its citizens as part of a prisoner exchange deal, and the transfer of its frozen funds in South Korea.