Advocate of harsh Iran sanctions joins Trump national security team

He has called for Tehran to be cut off from international financial transaction networks such as SWIFT.

By
January 7, 2019 19:02
1 minute read.
Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of

Members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011.. (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)

 
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WASHINGTON – One of Washington’s most vocal critics of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal has joined the Trump administration in a senior policy role, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Richard Goldberg, who has called on US President Donald Trump to bring Iran’s economy “to its knees,” will become Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Security Council.

It is his first role in the federal government. Goldberg previously worked for former Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), before serving the state’s governor, where he led an effort to pass first-in-the-nation legislation to target the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

Since then he has been with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank, advocating for a campaign of maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic. Privately, he promoted an exit from the nuclear deal to White House officials during a period of the administration when the US secretary of state and national security adviser, then Rex Tillerson and H. R. McMaster, were working to keep the president within the agreement.


He has called for Tehran to be cut off from international financial transaction networks such as SWIFT and for the Trump team to deny any and all sanctions exemptions to foreign companies, who are engaged in business in Iran. He is considered an expert on constructing sanctions from his experience drafting legislation on the matter in Congress.

Goldberg is expected to work closely with Brian Hook, the administration’s special representative on Iran policy at the US State Department.

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