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New Sanctions On Iran For Human Rights Abuses


Silhouette of convicted man Mahdi Faraji, is seen while he is being hanged, at the city of Qazvin about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of the capital Tehran, Iran, Thursday, May, 26, 2011.

The United States government has imposed new sanctions on the Iranian regime because of its gross violations of the rights of the Iranian people.

The United States government has imposed new sanctions on the Iranian regime because of its gross violations of the rights of the Iranian people.

The sanctions, announced jointly by the departments of State and Treasury, target Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Basij militia, and Iran's national police force, the LEF, as well as its commander, Ismail Ahmadi Moghadam.

It was under his leadership in 2009, that the LEF stormed student dormitories at Tehran University, injuring at least one hundred people. The LEF also operated the notorious Kahrizak prison where post election detainees endured horrific tortures and where at least three died.

The sanctions mean that any property in the U.S. or in the possession or control of American citizens in which the designees have an interest is blocked, and U.S. citizens are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. The designees are also subject to visa restrictions.

In a statement, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cited the hypocrisy of the Iranian government, which applauds protesters abroad calling for self determination, yet arrests its own citizens "merely for holding views contrary to Iran's leaders." She noted how Iranians "are being executed for crimes based on dubious charges and without the due process guaranteed under Iran's constitution. Religious and ethnic minorities," she said, "are intimidated and imprisoned, while women's rights activists, human rights defenders, clerics and labor leaders are targeted for retribution for seeing human rights for themselves and other Iranian citizens.

"The United States," said Secretary Clinton, "stands with all Iranians who wish for a government that respect their human rights, their dignity and their freedom, and we call on the Iranian government to end its systematic human rights abuses and political hypocrisy. Today's sanctions reflect our commitment to hold accountable those governments and officials that violate human rights and deprive their citizens of the opportunities and future they deserve."

Adam Szubin, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control Director, said that the imposition of these sanctions by the U.S. "exposes Iran's willingness to turn the machinery of the state, at its highest levels, against its own people to violently suppress their democratic aspirations. As long as this denial of basic human rights continues, we will remain vigilant in our efforts to isolate those responsible from the international financial system."

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