The US has imposed new sanctions on Iranian officials over their crackdown on protests



CNN

The United States on Tuesday imposed a raft of new sanctions against Iranian officials involved in Iran’s crackdown on nationwide protests – the latest US response to Tehran’s efforts to quell outrage following the killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

“It has been 40 days since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of Iran’s so-called ‘Morality Police,’ and we join her family and the Iranian people in a day of mourning and reflection,” the secretary said. State’s Antony Blinken said in a statement.

“The United States is committed to supporting the people of Iran and ensuring that those responsible for the crackdown on protests across Iran are held accountable,” Blinken said. “Today, we are announcing joint action between the Departments of State and Treasury naming 14 individuals and three entities using five different authorities, demonstrating our commitment to using the appropriate tools to hold all levels of the Iranian government accountable.”

Wednesday’s Treasury Department sanctions target the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ intelligence agency and the IRGC’s deputy commander for operations, as well as two officials in Sistan and Baluchistan province, “the site of some of the worst violence in recent protests.” “, the agency said in another sentence.

The Treasury Department also sanctioned a number of Iranian prison officials, including Hedayat Farzadi, the warden of Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.

In addition to sanctions related to the crackdown on protesters, the Treasury Department also named two Iranians and the school they founded – Ravin Academy – which “trains people in cyber security and hacking”, as well as Samane Gostar Sahab Pardaz Private Limited Company. One of the leading operators of social media filtering services in Iran,” the Treasury Department said.

“Hackers trained at the Ravin Academy have been directly involved in disrupting the communications of those protesting against the Iranian regime,” Blinken said.

The State Department “sentenced the Iranian commander and police chief of Isfahan province, Mohammed Reza Mirheydary … for his involvement in serious human rights violations, namely the cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of peaceful demonstrations in Isfahan in November 2021. , Iran,” it said. by Blinken “As a result of today’s action, Mirheydary cannot enter the United States.”

The top US diplomat also announced that the US would impose sanctions on “two individuals and entities involved in the killing, torture or other serious violations of internationally recognized human rights against people in Iran” – Bushehr prison, “has been reported”. various sites of human rights violations”, Mohammed Reza Ostad, “in charge of that facility, while serious human rights violations took place”; and Mohammed Reza Mirheydary, “Commander and Chief of the Isfahan Provincial Police.”