By Pooya Stone

Abbas Mousavi, spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, accused the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) of participating in "economic terrorism," according to the IRNA news agency on Thursday (August 7th). He added that the names of those affiliated with the foundation would be published soon and would be sanctioned. The Iranian Foreign Ministry then issued a statement banning the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, along with its founder, Mark Dubowitz.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the sanctions have been implemented in accordance with the "Law on Human Rights Violations and US Adventurous and Terrorist Acts in the Region Approved for 5 years." Those who are sanctioned, will not get any visa to enter Iran. In addition, their property within the jurisdiction of the Islamic Republic of Iran is confiscated, their accounts frozen and their financial services prohibited. Following this event, US officials condemned the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s decision in some tweets.

On August 7, Mike Pompeo wrote in a tweet:

“Continuing attempts by the regime in Iran to intimidate @FDD, an American think tank—a THINK TANK—must be condemned by all freedom-loving people around the world. The U.S. does not take these threats lightly, and will hold the regime and its “apparatuses” to account.”

Also on August 30, US National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote in a tweet:

“Iran threating a US think tank & its CEO is beyond the pale. @FDD has done great work to expose Iranian corruption & malicious activities, & I doubt this spurious action will deter them. Iran will be held accountable for any action taken to harm FDD or that of any American.”

On August 29, the Wall Street Journal published an article written by FDD’s Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht called: Stop Indulging Javad Zarif.

They pointed out: “There’s nothing ‘moderate’ about the Iranian foreign minister, who is now threatening our think tank.”

They clarified that Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has often found itself on the regime’s sidelines. To be sure, its diplomats have done their part: They tirelessly distribute anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda, provide diplomatic pouches and logistical assistance to Iranian operatives, and deny and whitewash deadly operations.

They added: “Yet Westerners have usually been willing to exempt Iranian diplomats from damning censure if they seem “moderate” in manner. Shaking a woman’s hand, a smile, a bit of wit, a willingness to be in the presence of alcohol—Americans and Europeans appreciate it when Islamists behave. That forgiving disposition has never been more egregiously on display than in the way Western VIPs treat Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who has proved a faithful factotum of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and a handmaiden to terrorism.”

They mentioned: “Typical was Mr. Zarif’s response to French accusations that a thwarted bombing of an Iranian opposition group’s large June 2018 rally in a Paris suburb had been planned in Tehran.”

The bomb plot they referred to was the foiled attempt on the annual Grand Gathering of the main opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its main constituent group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) in France on 2018.

They continued: “Mr. Zarif claimed the regime “unequivocally condemns all violence and terror anywhere, and is ready to work with all concerned to uncover what is a sinister false flag ploy.” This after an Iranian intelligence officer under diplomatic cover had been arrested for complicity and European security officials pinpointed the Internal Security Directorate of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry as headquarters for the operation.”

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