US sanctions Iranian minister and other senior officials

Among those sanctioned is former Iranian intelligence chief who is suspected of involvement in attacks in Israel and Argentina.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

National flags in Bandar Abbas, Iran
National flags in Bandar Abbas, Iran
iStock

The US government on Wednesday imposed sanctions on an Iranian government minister and senior law enforcement and military officials over human rights abuses.

"The Iranian regime violently suppresses dissent of the Iranian people, including peaceful protests, through physical and psychological abuse," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement quoted by AFP.

"The United States will continue to hold accountable Iranian officials and institutions that oppress and abuse their own people," he added.

The sanctions, the latest in a series of measures against the Iranian regime, target Interior Minister and chair of Iran's National Domestic Security Council (NDSC), Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, seven law enforcement officials and an IRGC commander.

The Treasury said that Rahmani Fazli has issued orders authorizing Iran's Law Enforcement Force to use "lethal force in response to the November 2019 protests, resulting in violence against peaceful protestors and bystanders. His orders led to the killing of many protestors, including at least 23 minors."

Washington also targeted IRGC Brigadier General Hassan Shahvarpour Najafabadi, Law Enforcement Force Commander Hossein Ashtari Fard, and Deputy Commander Ayoub Soleimani.

The sanctions block all US assets and property of the officials and prevent US financial institutions from dealing with them.

The State Department also sanctioned Rahmani Fazli for "his involvement in gross violations of human rights," barring him and his family from entering the United States, according to AFP.

The US government said the LEF was "responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses that have occurred since the disputed June 2009 presidential election and ensuing protests."

The latest sanctions also target Ali Fallahian, who served as the head of Iran’s intelligence service from 1989 to 1997 and who was involved in a 1995 suicide bombing in Israel that killed an American student and the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, according to JTA.

During his service, Fallahian was “involved in multiple assassinations and attacks across the globe,” according to the State Department. These include the killing of 20-year-old Alisa Flatow, an exchange student from New Jersey who was killed in an attack on an Israeli bus in the Gaza Strip.

The State Department also said Fallahian “bears responsibility” for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Several Iranian officials are wanted in Argentina for their role in the AMIA bombing, which was carried out through Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah. Iran denies involvement and has repeatedly rejected Argentine demands for the accused to testify.

Last year, the United States offered a $7 million reward to find a Hezbollah terrorist accused of masterminding the deadly 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish community center.

The US regularly sanctions Iranian officials and bodies and has continued to do so since it withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

In January, the US slapped sanctions on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran as well as its chief officer, Ali Akbar Salehi.



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