Sanctioning Russian Federation and Iranian State Actors Responsible for the Wrongful Detention of U.S. Nationals

April 27, 2023

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Antony J. Blinken

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Secretary of State

The United States has no higher commitment than bringing home wrongfully detained Americans. Today, we are promoting accountability for those responsible for wrongfully detaining U.S. nationals abroad.  Our actions are a clear and direct warning to those around the world who wrongfully detain U.S. nationals of the potential consequences of their actions.

The Department of State is designating Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) for its involvement in the wrongful detention of at least one U.S. national abroad. The FSB has repeatedly been involved in the arrest, investigation, and detention of U.S. nationals wrongfully detained in Russia.

The Department is also designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Intelligence Organization (IRGC-IO) for its involvement in the wrongful detention of at least one U.S. national abroad. Concurrently, the Department of the Treasury is designating four senior officials in the IRGC-IO.

Russia’s and Iran’s continued pattern of wrongfully detaining U.S. nationals is unacceptable. The United States will never stop working to secure the release of U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage and reunite them with their loved ones. Today’s actions are one tool furthering that cause, and we will continue to use all authorities at our disposal to bring our people home.