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Travel Restrictions On Iranian Rights Abusers

Iranian students help each other during a protest. (file)

The United States and the United Kingdom have imposed visa restrictions on officials of the Iranian government.

Crimes of the Iranian government against the Iranian people, including arbitrary arrest, torture, and summary execution, continue in Iran. The international community is committed to highlighting the brutal repression taking place and holding the perpetrators accountable.

To that end, the United States and the United Kingdom have imposed visa restrictions on officials of the Iranian government and other individuals who have participated in human rights abuses in Iran. In a statement announcing the restrictions, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Iranian officials subject to this visa ban "include government ministers, military and law enforcement officers, and judiciary and prison officials." She noted that Canada has also announced its support for increased measures against those who are violating the fundamental freedoms of the Iranian people.

Fifty-two Iranian officials are subject to the visa restrictions imposed by the State Department. In September 2010, President Barack Obama designated 8 Iranian officials responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses since Iran's disputed presidential election in 2009. In February 2011, the Departments of State and Treasury announced designations against Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Basij, Iran's Law Enforcement Forces, and its police chief.

The new State Department travel restrictions apply to a broader class of individuals who have played a role in the ongoing repression of students, human rights activists, lawyers, artists, civil society representatives, women's rights leaders, and religious and ethnic minorities.

The U.S. action, together with those of its international partners, demonstrates a commitment to express solidarity with victims of torture, persecution and arbitrary detention; urge respect for the rule of law and universal rights in Iran, and hold officials accountable for human rights abuses committed against their own people.