White House Designates Iranian Officials

ALEXANDER MELEAGROU-HITCHENS

The White House press secretary has just released an official statement claiming that the President has designated Iranian officials responsible for or complicit in human rights abuses.

The full statement is reproduced below:

The United States is strongly committed to the promotion of human rights around the world, including in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  In accordance with U.S. law and the Administration’s commitment to human rights for the Iranian people, the President has signed an Executive Order authorizing the Departments of State and Treasury to impose sanctions on eight Iranian government officials tied to serious human rights abuses against the people of Iran.

These measures are being taken pursuant to the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, which imposes sanctions against senior officials in the Iranian government who, based on credible evidence, were involved in the commission of serious human rights abuses during or after Iran’s 2009 presidential election.  The individuals designated will be subject to financial sanctions and visa ineligibilities under U.S. law.  The list of names is not exhaustive and will continue to grow based on events in Iran, and as additional information and evidence becomes available.

As the President noted in his recent address to the United Nations General Assembly, human rights are a matter of moral and pragmatic necessity for the United States.  The United States will always stand with those in Iran who aspire to have their voices heard.  We will be a voice for those aspirations that are universal, and we continue to call upon the Iranian government to respect the rights of its people.

The eight Iranian officials are surprisingly senior and are listed as:

1. Mohammad Ali JAFARI [Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, born September 1, 1957]

2. Sadeq MAHSOULI [Minister of Welfare and Social Security, former Minister of the Interior and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for Law Enforcement, born 1959]

3. Qolam-Hossein MOHSENI-EJEI [Prosecutor-General of Iran, former Minister of Intelligence, born circa 1956]

4. Saeed MORTAZAVI [Head of Iranian Anti-Smuggling Task Force, former Prosecutor-General of Tehran, born 1967]

5. Heydar MOSLEHI [Minister of Intelligence, born 1956]

6. Mostafa Mohammad NAJJAR [Minister of the Interior and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for Law Enforcement, born 1956]

7. Ahmad-Reza RADAN [Deputy Chief of the National Police, born 1963 or 1964]

8. Hossein TAEB [Deputy Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander for Intelligence, former Commander of the Basij Forces, born 1963]

It need hardly be said that this is a welcome developement, and appears to have come in the wake of a number of comments made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, criticising the regime for its human rights abuses and, more importantly, showing solidarity with the Green Movement.

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