US issues fresh sanctions on Iran because of violence against protestors

The nationwide unrest sparked by Amini's death has spiraled into the biggest challenge to Iran's clerical leaders in years.

 A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022 (photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022
(photo credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on seven Iranian officials over the shutdown of internet access and the crackdown on peaceful protesters following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police.

The US Treasury Department in a statement said it imposed sanctions on Iran's minister of interior, Ahmad Vahidi; Communications Minister Eisa Zarepour; and Vahid Mohammad Naser Majid, the head of the Iranian Cyber Police, among others.

"The United States condemns the Iranian government’s Internet shutdown and continued violent suppression of peaceful protest and will not hesitate to target those who direct and support such actions."

Brian Nelson

The nationwide unrest sparked by Amini's death has spiraled into the biggest challenge to Iran's clerical leaders in years, with protesters calling for the downfall of the Islamic Republic founded in 1979.

Rights groups say thousands have been arrested and hundreds injured in the crackdown waged by security forces including the Basij, a volunteer militia affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Rights groups put the death toll at over 150.

 A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's ''morality police'', in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022. (credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS) A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's ''morality police'', in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022. (credit: WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Previous US sanctions on Iran

The United States last month imposed sanctions on Iran's morality police over allegations of abuse of Iranian women, saying it held the unit responsible for the death of Amini, an Iranian Kurd who died after being detained in Tehran on Sept. 13 for "inappropriate attire." 

Authorities have reported numerous deaths among the security forces, accusing foreign adversaries, including the United States, of meddling to destabilize Iran.