Iran: Qatar Aid Channel, and further sanctions

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U.S. government announced the establishment of a humanitarian channel in Qatar (HC) to further facilitate the flow of humanitarian assistance to the people of Iran consistent with the U.S. government’s longstanding support for humanitarian trade. Similar to humanitarian channels established under previous administrations, the HC is designed to support the Iranian people’s access to food, agricultural goods, medicine, and medical devices under stringent due diligence measures that guard against money laundering, misuse, and evasion of U.S. sanctions. The HC does not lift any U.S. sanctions on Iran, and the U.S. government continues to impose sanctions on Iran’s malign activity, including in response to Iran’s weapons proliferation and its support for international terrorism. More information is available here.

Concurrently, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former president of Iran, for having provided material support to the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), an entity redesignated by the Department of State.

During Ahmadinejad’s term in office, MOIS was involved in the detention of several U.S. nationals, including former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) special agent Robert “Bob” Levinson, as well as three U.S. hikers: Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal, and Sarah Shourd. While the three hikers were eventually released after years-long detentions, Mr. Levinson remains missing and is presumed deceased