Washington sanctions 25 Iranian officials

(Photo by Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

United States President Joe Biden said the country stands by Iranians as they mark the first death anniversary of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who died one year ago while in the custody of morality police who detained her for dress code violation.

“Iranians alone will determine the fate of their country, but the United States remains committed to standing with them — including providing tools to support Iranians’ ability to advocate for their own future,” Biden said.

The president also announced that the US Treasury Department added to the sanctions blacklist 25 Iranian officials and an Internet censorship firm linked to Tehran’s suppression of protests after Amini’s death.

Months of nationwide demonstrations followed her death.

Also sanctioned was Gholamali Mohammadi, the head of Iran’s Prisons Organization, who the Treasury said presides over serious human rights abuses including torture and rape.

Three state-controlled media groups, Press TV, Tasnim News and Fars News, were also placed on the blacklist.

The sanctions were coordinated with the European Union, Britain, Canada and Australia.

Targets of the United Kingdom sanctions included Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili, Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani and Iranian police spokesperson Saeed Montazer Al-Mahdi.

The European Union added to its own blacklist four Iranian officials — a commander in the elite Revolutionary Guard, two regional police chiefs and a prison boss.

Hoping to keep pressure in place, the US House of Representatives on Wednesday passed, nearly unanimously, a bill in honor of Amini that would make it difficult to remove sanctions against top officials including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.


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