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News: International

U.S. Blacklists Iran Regime's Armed Forces and Nine Senior Officials

U.S. Blacklists Iran Regime's Armed Forces and Nine Senior Officials
Mike Pompeo-Steven Mnuchin

The United States Treasury on Monday imposed sanctions on the Iranian regime’s Armed Forces General Staff and nine individuals "who are appointees of, or have acted for or on behalf of, Ali Khamenei, the Iranian regime’s unelected Supreme Leader whose office is responsible for advancing Iran’s radical agenda."

The Treasury said in a statement that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took the action to "block funds from flowing to a shadow network of Ali Khamenei’s military and foreign affairs advisors who have for decades oppressed the Iranian people, exported terrorism, and advanced destabilizing policies around the world." 

"Specifically, the action targets Ali Khamenei’s appointees in the Office of the Supreme Leader, the Expediency Council, the Armed Forces General Staff, and the Judiciary."

"Treasury’s action coincides with the 40th anniversary of Iranian militants seizing the U.S. embassy in Tehran, holding more than 50 Americans hostage for 444 days." 

"Today the Treasury Department is targeting the unelected officials who surround Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and implement his destabilizing policies," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. 

"These individuals are linked to a wide range of malign behaviors by the regime, including bombings of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in 1994, as well as torture, extrajudicial killings, and repression of civilians. This action further constricts the Supreme Leader’s ability to execute his agenda of terror and oppression," he said. 

"While the Iranian regime’s decision to jail our diplomats has cast a 40-year shadow over our relations, the United States knows that the longest-suffering victims of the Iranian regime are the Iranian people.  We wish nothing more for them than a future with a truly representative government and friendship with the American people," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Monday. 

Sanctioned individuals include Ebrahim Raisi, the head of Iran’s Judiciary; Mojtaba Khamenei, the second son of the Supreme Leader; Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, the Supreme Leader’s Chief of Staff; Vahid Haghanian, an executive deputy for the Supreme Leader; Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to the Supreme Leader; Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel, father-in-law of Mojtaba Khamenei, a member of the Expediency Council and also an advisor to Ali Khamenei; Mohammad Bagheri, chief of the Armed Forces General Staff (AFGS); IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, military aide to the Supreme Leader for the Defense Industries and Armed Forces Logistics; and Gholam Ali Rashid, an IRGC commander, who was appointed by the Supreme Leader as the commander of the Khatam al-Anbia Central Headquarters, the most important military headquarters in Iran. 

The Treasury statement highlighted the role of Ebrahim Raisi in the 1988 Death Commissions that sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death.  

The 1988 massacre resulted in the death of some 30,000 political prisoners, primarily affiliated to the main Iranian opposition group People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), otherwise known as the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK). 

The Treasury statement said:  

"Today, OFAC designated Ebrahim Raisi, the head of Iran’s Judiciary, who was appointed by the Supreme Leader in March 2019. OFAC designated the former head of Iran’s Judiciary Sadegh Amoli Larijani Larijani in January 2018 pursuant to E.O. 13553 for his administrative oversight over the executions of individuals who were juveniles at the time of their crime and the torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in Iran, including amputations." 

"According to a United Nations report, Iran’s Judiciary sanctioned the execution of seven child offenders last year, and two so far in 2019, despite human rights law prohibitions against the death penalty for anyone under age 18. There are at least 90 child offenders currently on death row in Iran." 

"Prior to Raisi’s appointment as head of the Judiciary, he served as prosecutor general of Tehran between 1989 and 1994, first deputy head of the judiciary from 2004 to 2014, and Iran’s prosecutor general from 2014 to 2016." 

"Previously, as deputy prosecutor general of Tehran, Raisi participated in a so-called 'death commission' that ordered the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988." 

"Mojtaba Khamenei, the second son of the Supreme Leader, is designated today for representing the Supreme Leader in an official capacity despite never being elected or appointed to a government position aside from work in the office of his father. The Supreme Leader has delegated a part of his leadership responsibilities to Mojataba Khamenei, who worked closely with the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and also the Basij Resistance Force (Basij) to advance his father’s destabilizing regional ambitions and oppressive domestic objectives."

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