September 29, 2010 | Press Release

FDD Links Sanctions with Support for Democracy in Iran, and Identifies Companies Now Violating Them

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Press Release

September 29, 2010


Judy Mayka

[email protected]


FDD Links Sanctions with Support for Democracy in Iran,

and Identifies Companies Now Violating Them

Washington, D.C. (September 29, 2010) Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order imposing sanctions on Iranian officials responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses. The Order names eight individuals who share responsibility for severe human rights violations in Iran since the disputed presidential election of June 2009. These officials will be subject to penalties under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, which Obama signed on July 1. The Comprehensive Act requires that by Friday, October 1, the White House submit to Congress a list of additional companies it believes are in violation of sanctions on Iran.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Iran Energy Project has identified over 20 companies here that may merit inclusion in the President’s report.

“This Executive Order shows that effective economic sanctions are inseparable from the defense of human rights in Iran, and it is a key step towards holding violators of the Comprehensive Act accountable for abusing the Iranian people,” said Mark Dubowitz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and leader of its Iran Energy Project. “The individuals identified in the Order include members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which dominates Iran’s lucrative energy business, and uses its proceeds to fund Tehran’s nuclear program and a vast system of repression. I urge our government and those of our allies to remain vigilant, and to enforce the Comprehensive Act by holding accountable the international energy companies that continue to fuel a regime that represses its own people and threatens international security.”

“Any and all sanctions implemented to defend civil liberties and democracy in Iran are for the good,” added FDD Senior Fellow Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former Middle East specialist in the CIA’s Clandestine Service. “We should not simply implement sanctions because the regime is in violation of this UN resolution or that, or because we fear Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards having nuclear weapons. We want Iranians to know that we are sanctioning the regime to counter its atrocious behavior towards them and others. The denial of basic human rights in Iran is inextricable from the regime’s quest for nuclear weaponry and its 30-year embrace of terrorism — against its own people, Americans, Europeans, and Israelis. The defense of democracy in Iran and sanctions against its nuclear program should always move hand in hand.”

For more information on how sanctions can support democratic reform in Iran, see the piece Mr. Dubowitz co-authored with FDD Senior Fellow Benjamin Weinthal in Slate and FDD’s full reports here.

To book an interview or for more information on the Foundation for Defense of Democracies please contact Judy Mayka at (202) 622-3948 or [email protected].


The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism. Founded shortly after the attacks of 9/11, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications, and investigative journalism in support of its mission. For more information, please visit