WASHINGTON (CN) – President Barack Obama has indentified eight senior members of the Iranian government as responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses following the protests in Iran after that country’s contested 2009 presidential election.
Obama has ordered the Secretary of the Treasury to seize any property or assets belonging to the officials under U.S. legal jurisdiction.
Following the election, which returned incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to office, supporters of opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi took the streets in initially peaceful protests. As the protests went on, however, Iran’s security forces responded with force and mass arrests. At the time, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said that at least 34 protestors had been killed and the videotaped shooting of Neda Agha-Soltan was watched by millions on Youtube.
Acting under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, President Obama issued an executive order identifying Mohammad Ali Jafari, Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; Sadeq Mahsouli, Minister of Welfare and Social Security; Qolam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, Prosecutor-General of Iran; Saeed Mortazavi, Head of Iranian Anti-Smuggling Task Force; Heydar Moslehi, Minister of Intelligence; Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Minister of the Interior and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for Law Enforcement; Ahmad-Reza Radan Deputy Chief of the National Police; and Hossein Taeb, Deputy Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander for Intelligence, as having ordered or controlled the commission of human rights abuses against Iranians inside and outside of Iran since June 12, 2009.