US sanctions two Iranian officials for ‘gross rights violations’
15:15, Wednesday, 10 March, 2021
The United States has sanctioned two officials from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for alleged involvement in human rights violations against Iranian political prisoners and protesters. In a statement on Tuesday, the US State Department said Ali Hemmatian and Masoud Safdari, whom it described as IRGC interrogators, and their immediate families would be barred from entering the country. The department accused the pair of being involved “in gross violations of human rights, namely the torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of political prisoners and persons detained during protests in 2019 and 2020 in Iran”. “The United States will continue to hold violators accountable,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted. “America and our allies must engage Iran through a combination of diplomatic and sanction mechanisms to achieve full compliance of international obligations and a demonstrated commitment by Iran to addressing its malign behavior,” they said in a letter to Blinken.