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Treasury sanctions key Iranian officials over violence aimed at protesters

The Treasury Department sanctioned several key Iranian officials on Wednesday over their role in the government’s violent crackdown on protesters.

The sanctions target Iran’s prosecutor general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, as well as four leaders of the country’s military and paramilitary forces.

Montazeri directed Iran’s Revolutionary Courts to issue harsh sentences to protesters, according to the Treasury, as the Iranian government takes increasingly aggressive measures to quell the ongoing anti-government demonstrations.

Two commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who have overseen the crackdown on protesters in Tehran and Kurdistan, were also targeted in Treasury’s latest sanctions, as were two members of the Basij Resistance Force. The Basij is a paramilitary organization under the control of the IRGC.

Treasury also sanctioned Iranian company Imen Sanat Zaman Fara, which the department said has produced armored vehicles, automatic grenade launchers, bulletproof vests and shields for Iran’s main protest suppression forces.

“We denounce the Iranian regime’s intensifying use of violence against its own people who are advocating for their human rights,” Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

“The United States and our partners are dedicated to holding Iranian officials to account for egregious abuses committed against Iranian citizens fighting for their fundamental freedoms,” he added.

The protests erupted in September following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. Amini was arrested by Iran’s “morality police” for incorrectly wearing her hijab.

At least 469 people have been killed by security forces amid the Iranian government’s crackdown on protests, according to the Norway-based nonprofit Iran Human Rights. Two protesters have been executed thus far, and 39 more remain at risk of execution.

Source: The Hill

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