The U.S. Departments of Treasury and State today announced the designation of Hassan Firouzabadi, Chairman of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Abdollah Araqi, the Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Ground Force, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13553 for being responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses in Iran.
"The Iranian people have suffered tremendously at the hands of senior officials, who instead of protecting their basic rights have ordered and orchestrated widespread, serious human rights abuses aimed at silencing criticism and punishing dissent," said Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Director Adam J. Szubin. "In support of the Iranian people's quest for justice and accountability, we are taking further action today to expose the involvement of senior Iranian government officials in serious human rights abuses."
Signed by President Obama in September 2010, E.O. 13553 targets serious human rights abuses by officials of the Government of Iran and persons acting on behalf of the Government of Iran since the June 2009 election. As a result of today's action, U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Firouzabadi or Araqi and any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. The designees are also subject to visa sanctions by the Department of State.
State Department Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner added, "Today's action underscores our enduring commitment to hold accountable Iranian government officials responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses. Through today's designations, we affirm that we will take action against those who perpetrate such serious abuses. We will help Iranian citizens hold their government accountable to preserve and protect their human rights, as declared in their own law and international conventions to which the Iranian government is a party."
As Chairman of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi is the highest military authority in Iran, responsible for directing all military divisions and policies and overseeing and directing Iran's army (Artesh), the IRGC, and the Basij Forces. In addition, Hassan Firouzabadi is Head of the Permanent Passive Defense Committee, a member of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, a member of Iran's Expediency Council, and a member of the Basij.
Both the IRGC and the Basij were designated by Treasury pursuant to E.O. 13553 on June 9, 2011. The IRGC is responsible for serious human rights abuses that have occurred since the contested June 12, 2009, presidential election, including the violent crackdowns on protesters and the mistreatment of political detainees held in a ward of Tehran's Evin prison controlled by the IRGC. As one of Iran's primary guarantors of domestic security, the Basij has also been heavily involved in the violent crackdowns and serious human rights abuses occurring in Iran since the June 2009 contested presidential election. The Basij have been implicated in attacks on university students, abuse of detainees, and violence against peaceful protesters.
Prior to being appointed as Deputy Commander of the IRGC Ground Forces, Abdollah Araqi was the Commander of Greater Tehran's Mohammad Rasulollah Division of the IRGC, an elite IRGC unit charged with maintaining security throughout Greater Tehran. Abdollah Araqi's IRGC unit assumed responsibility for security in the months after the June 12, 2009 election and played a key role in the violent crackdown on the post-election protesters.
Individual: ARAQI, Abdollah
AKA: ARAGHI, Abdollah
AKA: ARAQI, Abdullah
AKA: ERAGHI, Abdollah
AKA: ERAQI, Abdollah
Individual: FIROUZABADI, Hassan
AKA: AQAI-FIRUZABADI, Hassan
AKA: FIROOZABADI, Hassan
AKA: FIRUZABADI, Hasan
DOB: February 3, 1951
POB: Mashhad, Iran