Sanctioning Iranian Leaders Responsible for Human Rights Abuses or Censorship

October 6, 2022

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Antony J. Blinken

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Secretary of State

The United States condemns the Iranian government’s continued violent suppression of protests following the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the so-called Morality Police. The Iranian government has since cracked down on the right to freedom of expression and right of peaceful assembly, including by shutting down access to the Internet.

As a result, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating Iran’s Minister of the Interior, Ahmad Vahidi, and Iran’s Minister of Communications, Eisa Zarepour, as well as five other senior leaders of Iran’s security apparatus for the continued violence against peaceful protesters and the shutdown of Iran’s Internet access. Today’s action follows the September 22 designation of the Morality Police, its senior leadership, and other senior security officials, and the release of Iran-related General License D-2, which together demonstrate that the United States stands with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights.

Today’s actions are taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13553, which authorizes sanctions with respect to serious human rights abuses by the Government of Iran, and E.O. 13846, which authorizes sanctions for engaging in censorship or certain other activities with respect to Iran.