US and Iranian Flags

On Sunday, the White House issued a warning to Iran – be prepared for severe consequences if any Americans are attacked, including any of those individuals who have been sanctioned by Tehran after the 2020 drone strike killing of General Qassem Soleimani.

Iran laid out sanctions on Saturday, according to White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Sullivan added that proxy militias out of Tehran continue to attack American troops in the middle East.

Iran specifically named fifty-two individuals against which there are sanctions by the Iranian government. Sullivan said that the United States is and will continue to work with allies in the Middle East to both prevent and to potentially respond to any attacks by Iranian militias.

Sullivan added, “Should Iran attack any of our nationals, it will face severe consequences.”

Many of the individuals whom Iran has imposed sanctions are a part of the United States military in some form or fashion. Iran has stated that the sanctions are in response to the 2020 killing of Soleimani, a drone strike which then-President Donald Trump authorized.

The Foreign Ministry of Iran stated that fifty-one Americans had violated human rights in the killing of Soleimani, and they accused the Americans of “terrorism.” It is unclear at this time why the Iranians’ statement mentions fifty-one individuals while Sullivan’s Sunday statement mentions fifty-two under sanctions.

Under typical sanctions, Iran could seize the assets of the fifty-one mentioned in their statement. However, since those individuals have no assets in the area, then the statement is more symbolic than anything.

On the list of sanctioned individuals is General Mark Miley, who is currently the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A former security adviser, Robert O’Brien, is also on the list of sanctioned individuals.

This isn’t the first time that Iran has imposed sanctions on Americans. Last year, after the drone killing of Soleimani took place, Tehran authorized sanctions against then-President Donald Trump as well as several other senior American officials.

Sullivan spoke strongly in regards to the sanctions and other threats out of Tehran; he said that the Iranians should “make no mistake” that the United States would do whatever necessary to protect our citizens and our assets.

According to Sullivan, that protection was extended to not only active military but also those who have served in the past.

Prior to the announcement of these sanctions, Iranian officials had called for former President Trump to be brought up on charges regarding Soleimani’s death. If not, the current Iranian president has hinted that the country may retaliate.

In a united front, Sullivan admitted that while the Biden Administration and the Trump Administration may have differing opinions on how to handle Middle Eastern conflicts, the Biden Administration would not allow Iran to threaten Americans in any way.