The Trump administration on Monday slapped new sanctions on nine officials who make up the core inner circle of advisers to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Among those sanctioned are Khamenei’s chief of staff, the head of the Iranian judiciary and the Mojtaba Khamenei, the supreme leader’s second son who often represents his father in a nonofficial role.
The State Department also announced a $20 million reward for information on the whereabouts of Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who vanished during a 2007 visit to Kish Island in Iran.
The new sanctions and reward were put in place on the 40th anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy, in which more than 50 American officials were detained for 444 days.
A senior administration official said the Iranian regime has not changed its behavior in the past 40 years, and called on it to renounce hostage-taking and release all foreigners unjustly imprisoned in Iran.