September 29th, 2010
02:11 PM ET

U.S adds sanctions against Iran for human rights abuses

[Updated at 2:10 p.m.] Citing "mounting evidence" of repression of the Iranian opposition, the Obama administration added more sanctions against Iranian government officials, members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps and others accused by the United States of being responsible for human rights abuses.

The sanctions, announced Wednesday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, block the assets of, and prohibit U.S. citizens from engaging in any business with, those on the list, which includes the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the country's prosecutor general, and the ministers of welfare and intelligence.

"On these officials' watch or under their command Iranian citizens have been arbitrarily, beaten, tortured, raped, blackmailed and killed," Clinton said. "Yet the Iranian government has ignored repeated calls from the international community to end these abuses, to hold to account those responsible, and respect the rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens."

"Today we declare our solidarity with their victims and with all Iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights and their dignity and their freedom," she said.

Geithner emphasized the measures would not harm the whole country, rather the sanctions were designed to target those who engage in behavior that harms the Iranian people.

"We have found that when we single out Iran's bad actors and expose their illicit conduct–banks, businesses, and governments around the world respond by cutting off dealings with these individuals, groups and businesses," he said, adding the measures would send a message across the world about the risks to continued business with Iran, just as with the recent sanctions against Iran's nuclear business.

The US has been increasing its criticism of Iran's goverment's human rights record since President Mahmoud Amhadinejad's disputed landslide election victory unleashed massive demonstrations in the country. Iran's leaders called the uprising a foreign-led plot to overthrow the regime. It cracked down on the protesters, with many killed and even more jailed. Images of the bloody crackdown fueled worldwide outrage.

Clinton said that new legislation passed earlier this year gives the administration tools to impose sanctions against Iranian officials where there are credible evidence against them. But she acknowledged the administration was "also very mindful" since last year's election about messages from the opposition about keeping a low profile.

[Posted at 12:17 p.m.] The Obama administration is set to announce more sanctions against Iran, targeting Iranian government officials, members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps and others accused by the United States of being responsible for human rights abuses.

The sanction will block their assets and prohibit U.S. citizens from engaging in any business with those on the list, according to a State Department fact sheet obtained by CNN Wednesday.

The announcement is expected to be made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner later in the afternoon.

soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. sypeemins

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    October 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. citizen kane

    The Catholic Church in Saudi Arabia is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome.
    According to data from the Catholic Web portal AsiaNews.it there are estimated to be more than 1 million Roman Catholics in Saudi Arabia, most of them Filipino workers without citizenship.[1] It is estimated that at least 5% of Saudi Arabia is Christian, though some of these people do not have permanent residence.
    Saudi Arabia allows Roman Catholics and Christians of other denominations to enter the country as foreign workers for temporary work, but does not allow them to practise their faith openly, and as a result Roman Catholics and Christians of other denominations generally only worship in secret within private homes[2]. Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are prohibited[3]. These include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols, and others[4].
    The Saudi Arabian Mutaween (Arabic: مطوعين), or Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (i.e., the religious police) prohibits the practice of any religion other than Islam[5]. Conversion of a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy[6], a crime punishable by death (Capital punishment in Saudi Arabia) if the accused does not recant[7]. The Government does not permit non-Muslim clergy to enter the country for the purpose of conducting religious services[8].
    Public worship of non-Islamic religions is forbidden in Saudi Arabia and Christians of all denominations have been subjected to persecution for public preaching[9].
    However, there are some signs of more openness. Pope Benedict XVI and King Abdullah have begun negotiations on opening the first Catholic church in the Saudi Kingdom [

    October 4, 2010 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. sam

    watch the latest movies online free at movies27 dot com

    October 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Franz

    I'm sorry to be insensitive, but these idiots were "teachers" and they were "hiking" in the most volatile place in the world for AMericans and just happened to end up over the border in Iran and now they want an intervention by the State Department and this Administration (which they are not likely to get from this Harvard educated, armchair, spineless Administration). These guys should be forcibly taken away because Iran can't be trusted not to kill women who show ankles much less justice for two American men. But I think these guys and the hiker who was just returned, should be fined for being stupid. I guess they did not think for once what they are doing to their families back home.

    But I have to say, the United States can hardly complain about detaining people without charging them. Note to granola rag, Save Africa, vegan, faux Buddhist hikers with the nasty facial hair and those terrible hippie skirts. STAY IN YOUR SUBURB!

    October 10, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
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    October 14, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
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