US issues Iran sanctions on one-year anniversary on Mahsa Amini’s death

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is sanctioning more than two dozen individuals and entities connected to Iran’s “violent suppression” of protests in the wake of Mahsa Amini’s death last year in the custody of Iran’s morality police, the U.S. Department of Treasury said on Friday.

The sanctions target 29 people and groups, including 18 key members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), as well as the head of Iran’s Prisons Organizations, the department said. They also target officials linked to Iran’s internet blockade as well as several media outlets.

“The United States, alongside the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and our other international allies and partners, will continue to take collective action against those who suppress Iranians’ exercise of their human rights,” U.S. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement ahead of the one-year anniversary on Saturday of Amini’s death.

Britain separately announced its sanctions targeting senior Iranian decision makers enforcing Tehran’s mandatory hijab law, including Iran’s minister for culture and Islamic guidance, his deputy, the mayor of Tehran and an Iranian police spokesman.

Amini, an Iranian Kurd, died Sept. 16, 2022 at the age of 22 after being arrested for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code. Her death sparked months of anti-government protests that marked the biggest show of opposition to Iranian authorities in years.

The U.S. sanctions target LEF spokesperson Saeed Montazerolmehdi and multiple LEF and IRGC commanders as well as Iran’s Prisons Organization chief Gholamali Mohammadi. Douran Software Technologies chief executive Alireza Abedinejad as well as state-controlled media organizations Press TV, Tasnim News Agency and Fars News were also among those sanctioned.

U.S. sanctions generally prohibit Americans from engaging in transactions with those targeted.

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)