13 Iranian entities targeted by new US sanctions

The U.S. Treasury Department imposes sanctions on individuals and entities in Iran. The issue is serious human rights violations.

 PEOPLE PASS a mural of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran (photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA VIA REUTERS)
PEOPLE PASS a mural of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran
(photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA VIA REUTERS)

Nine people and four entities in Iran were targeted by new sanctions issued by the US Treasury on Tuesday in connection with serious human rights abuse and repressive acts targeting innocent civilians, political opponents, and peaceful protestors.

Sanctions were also issued against actors in Uganda and Syria.

In Iran, the Special Units of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) and a subunit within the forces known as the Counter-Terror Special Forces (NOPO) were sanctioned for being responsible for or complicit in the commission of serious human rights abuses in Iran.

Hassan Karami, the commander of the LEF Special Units, and Mohsen Ebrahimi, commander of the NOPO, were sanctioned for acting for or on behalf of the LEF Special Units.

Gholamreza Soleimani, the commander of the Basij, a central domestic security force in Iran that has been heavily involved in violent crackdowns on protesters, was sanctioned for having acted for or on behalf of the Basij.

US Treasury Department building. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)US Treasury Department building. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Leila Vaseghi, the governor of Qods city, issued an order to armed forces to shoot unarmed protesters in widespread protests in Iran in November 2019. She was sanctioned for being responsible for or complicit in the commission of serious human rights abuses.

IRGC interrogators Ali Hemmatian and Masoud Safdari have long records of physical abuse against political prisoners at IRGC detention facilities. The two were sanctioned for being responsible for or complicit in the commission of serious human rights abuses.

Zahedan Prison and Isfahan Central Prison have both executed peaceful protesters and are both being sanctioned by the State Department by Section 106 of CAATSA, which allows the Secretary of State to list persons responsible for "extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals in Iran" who seek to expose illegal activity by the Iranian government or with to exercise or obtain internationally recognized human rights and freedoms.

Soghra Khodadadi, the current director of Qarchak Women’s Prison, was responsible for ordering and participating in a violent attack against prisoners of conscience at the prison in December 2020. She is being sanctioned by the State Department by Section 106 of CAATSA.

Mohammad Karami, a Brigadier General who commands the IRGC South-East Quds Operational Base in Zahedan in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, was responsible for the actions of IRGC officers who fired live ammunition at unarmed fuel porters who were seeking to exercise their freedom of expression. He is also being sanctioned by the State Department by Section 106 of CAATSA.

Iran criticized the United States for imposing new sanctions days before talks are set to resume in Vienna on rescuing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

"Even amid #ViennaTalks, US cannot stop imposing sanctions against Iran," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter. "Doubling down on sanctions won't create leverage — and is anything but seriousness & goodwill."