Was this page helpful?

Remarks by Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross at the Briefing on Iran Arms EO and AEOI Sanctions


I am grateful for our President’s commitment to ending Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and conventional weapons undertakings – pursuits that it uses to deliberately threaten and terrorize the rest of the world. And in that spirit, today, the U.S. Department of Commerce is adding five Iranian scientists to the Entity List for enabling or assisting Iran’s nuclear development program, actions that run contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. The individuals added to the Entity List are Ahmad Nozad Gholik, Behnam Pouremadi, Hamid Sepehrian, Mojtaba Farhadi Ganjeh, and Sayyed Javad Ahmadi.

Pouremadi, Sepehrian, and Ganjeh are associated with Iran’s JHL Laboratory, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran lab involved in nuclear activities, and designated by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 1803 on Iran’s Nuclear Program. Pouremadi has pursued sensitive equipment and materials for AEOI using deceptive practices and obfuscation techniques. Ganjeh has worked with overseas Iranian procurement agents to acquire sensitive nuclear-related items, including Western goods. He also traveled overseas for training and sought information in support of AEOI technical questions.

Gholik is associated with an AEOI subsidiary that implements various projects in the nuclear field. He has worked with overseas Iranian agents to procure sensitive items, including those that can be used in spent nuclear fuel reprocessing. Ahmadi is an AEOI employee who has traveled overseas for nuclear-related meetings.

As listed entities, these persons are subject to additional license requirements on and limits to transactions and license exceptions for exports, re-exports, and in-country transfers, per our Export Administration Regulations. These five individuals played a critical role in Iran’s nuclear weapons development program and continue to work for the Iranian regime.

Iran must comply with its nuclear safeguard obligations and immediately cooperate with the international community. Iran’s nuclear escalation adds to destabilization in the region and the Iranian regime is a clear threat to international peace and security.

The Department of Commerce stands by President Trump in his commitment to preventing Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon. Since 2017, Commerce has added more than 60 entities around the world to the Entity List for their involvement in activities that support Iran’s missile, nuclear, WMD and other military programs. And the Department of Commerce will continue to aggressively investigate and designate individuals and parties to the Entity List who act contrary to the national security of the United States and international law.

President Trump’s Executive Order will significantly weaken Iran’s capacity to export arms to terrorists and dangerous actors, as well as its ability to build up forces that would act against the United States and its allies. Under his leadership, I am proud to join Secretaries Pompeo, Esper, and Mnuchin, National Security Advisor O’Brien, and Ambassador Craft in holding Iran accountable and deterring its progress toward obtaining a nuclear weapon.