Attack on Salman Rushdie prompts U.S. sanctions against Iranian group
The U.S. Treasury Department announced Monday it had sanctioned the Islamic Association of Palestine for their part in what it called a plot to kidnap and murder the Muslim world’s most famous writer.
The designation is a part of a series of sanctions on groups and individuals tied to the Revolutionary Guards announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in August. Those sanctions aim to choke off aid and fuel exports to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and a U.S. adversary.
The sanctions also target members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the Quds force, the Islamic Republic’s external intelligence agency (the Quds Force) and the office of the Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s first leader after the revolution of 1979.
The group to be sanctioned was the Islamic Association of Palestine – Iran, which was a front group for the Revolutionary Guard, which was also sanctioned in August.
The group’s founder and leader is Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, who served as Prime Minister of Iran from 1941 until the shah’s overthrow in 1953. A longtime ally of the shah and son of one of his most powerful ministers, Pahlavi served as a driving force in Iran’s foreign policy, which included military assistance to Britain and France during World War II and the support of the United States’ opposition during the Cold War.
During the shah’s reign, Pahlavi served as vice president – in charge of foreign affairs – for the supreme council of the armed forces, the body that administered Iran under the shah.
He was also a key figure involved in a secret deal that would have resulted in the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo on Iran in exchange for the shah recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and lifting U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. Pahlavi would have become the first American ambassador to the shah’s court in the latter half of