US sanctions senior employees of Iranian state-run media

Iranian state-run IRIB acts as "a critical tool in the Iranian government’s mass suppression and censorship campaign," the US treasury said.

 Demonstrators stand in front of a wall of the former U.S. embassy with anti-U.S. murals during the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. expulsion from Iran, in Tehran, Iran November 4, 2021 (photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Demonstrators stand in front of a wall of the former U.S. embassy with anti-U.S. murals during the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. expulsion from Iran, in Tehran, Iran November 4, 2021
(photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

The United States imposed fresh Iran-related sanctions on Wednesday, targeting six individuals linked to state-run broadcaster Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), according to a notice posted on the US Treasury's website.

The list of sanctioned individuals includes IRIB director Peyman Jebelli and Ahmad Noroozi, the vice president of IRIB's world service.

The Treasury said the media corporation acts as "a critical tool in the Iranian government’s mass suppression and censorship campaign against its own people." The Treasury said the corporation has produced and broadcast interviews of people being forced to confess that their relatives were not killed by Iranian authorities during recent protests but instead died due to accidental, unrelated causes.

Iran 'reliant on forced confessions,' US Treasury official says

"The Iranian government’s systemic reliance on forced confessions illustrates the government’s refusal to speak truth to its citizens and the international community," the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement.

"The United States remains committed to supporting the Iranian people as they continue their peaceful protests," he said, adding that Washington would continue to hold the Iranian government accountable for human rights violations and censorship.

 Signage is seen at the United States Department of the Treasury headquarters in Washington, DC (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY) Signage is seen at the United States Department of the Treasury headquarters in Washington, DC (credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY)

Demonstrations following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody on September 16 have become one of the boldest challenges to Iran's clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.