Washington: The US has slapped sanctions on
two senior Iranian officials for "serious" human rights abuses aimed at protesters who took to the streets in large numbers following the controversial 2009 elections in Iran.
The US Departments of Treasury and State named Hassan
Firouzabadi, Chairman of Iran`s Joint Chiefs of Staff and
Abdollah Araqi, Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps (IRGC) Ground Force, under the sanctions for being
responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses.
"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 Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury`s Office
of Foreign Assets Control.
"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," Szubin said in a statement.
Widespread protests broke out in Tehran following
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s re-election triumph in the
2009 polls, which was accused of irregularities.
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights
and Labour, Michael Posner, said the action underscores US`
enduring commitment to hold accountable Iranian government
officials responsible for or complicit in serious human rights
"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," Posner added.