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November 23, 2022 3:30 pm

US Sanctions Iranian Officials as Regime Protest Crackdown Continues

avatar by Andrew Bernard

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. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

The US Treasury Department on Wednesday sanctioned three Iranian security officials responsible for a brutal crackdown on protesters in the country’s northwestern Kurdish region.

“The Iranian regime is reportedly targeting and gunning down its own children, who have taken to the street to demand a better future,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson. “The abuses being committed in Iran against protestors, including most recently in Mahabad, must stop.”

Those sanctioned include the governor and commander of security forces in Sanandaj province and the commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces in Iran’s West Azerbaijan province. West Azerbaijan province contains the Iranian city of Mahabad, where the regime has recently intensified efforts to put down the protests.

The Treasury Department’s statement notes that “dozens” of people have been killed in the Kurdish region in recent days. 

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Iran Human Rights, a Norway-based NGO, reported on Tuesday that at least 416 people had been killed by security forces since nation-wide protests began in September, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman, in police custody. Amini, 22, died after being sent to an “educational and orientation” class following her arrest by Iran’s Morality Police for allegedly not wearing her hijab, the headscarf all Iranian women are compelled to wear, in the proper manner.

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is set to hold a special session on Iran’s “deteriorating human rights situation” on 24 November.

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