The United States has added Iran and Venezuela to a list of countries it accuses of failing to fight human trafficking nearly a week after a similar hostile act against the two countries.
The White House said in a notice on Saturday that along Iran and Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan and Sudan will be added to the list of countries subject to restrictions for fiscal year 2018, which started on Sunday.
The White House also ordered increasing restrictions on North Korea, Eritrea, Russia and Syria, which were already on the list. Those countries would be constrained from engaging in educational or cultural exchange programs with the US.
The administration of President Donald Trump also instructed the US executive director of the International Monetary Fund and US executive directors at other multilateral development banks to vote against extending loans or other funds to North Korea, Russia and Iran for the new fiscal year.
The move comes nearly a week after Trump put Iran and Venezuela on a new list of eight countries targeted by Washington’s travel ban.
The range of restrictions imposed on each state is different. For example in the case of Venezuela, only certain government officials and their families are affected. Iran’s case is a bit different, with students and exchange visitors excused.
Trump’s administration has also sought a pretext to scrap or weaken the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries and get rid of the limits it imposes on the US ability to pursue more hostile policies against Iran.
The US stance on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) comes as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly verified Iran’s adherence to the terms of the nuclear agreement since January 2016, when it took effect.
All other parties to the deal, along with the entire international community, have thrown their weight behind the accord and verified Iran’s full commitment to its side of the bargain.