Protestors in Syria 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
WASHINGTON - The US Treasury Department said on Wednesday it was imposing sanctions against Syria's security forces for human rights abuses and against Iran for supporting the Syrian regime.
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The Treasury named the four major branches of Syria's security forces and said any assets they may have subject to US jurisdiction will be frozen and that Americans are barred from any dealing with them.
"Today's action builds on the (Obama) administration's efforts to pressure (Syrian President Bashar) Assad and his regime to end the use of wanton violence," said David Cohen, the US Treasury's acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner was asked what effect the
sanctions would have, given that those targeted were unlikely to have
assets under US jurisdiction.
"These (sanctions) also limit the ability for other international
companies and investors to do business with them as well, so it does
have a broad reach," Toner said.
"More importantly, it sends a message that we're watching these
individuals' actions and not only watching them but we're taking action
Treasury also named Ismail Ahmadi Moghadam, the chief of Iran's Law
Enforcement Forces, and a deputy, Ahmad-Reza Radan, for aiding Syria. It
said Radan traveled to Damascus in April to offer expertise in Syria's
crackdown on the Syrian people.
Syria has been in turmoil for three months as pro-democracy forces press
Assad's government for reforms. Syria has imposed restrictions on media
that make it difficult to verify accounts of violence but rights groups
claim hundreds of protesters have been killed and thousands detained.