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. James

    Why do we have to keep sticking our hands into ever other Country's business? Can't we just mind our own business for once and focus on all of our issues at home. God knows we have plenty to keep us busy. All this approach does is run up our national debt and create more enemies.

    September 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      There are so many problems with the last comment. They're quite obviously already an enemy...and not just of the U.S., but of the U.N. How is it that by freezing someone else's assets and stopping our citizens from doing business with Iran causes us to run up our national debt?? Sounds like a typical republican mouthpiece sticking to the party's speaking points of fear mongering and fiscal responsibility...despite the fact that our previous republican administration caused a sizable chunk of the hole we are in (don't they always forget to mention that??)

      September 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachael

      How about the fact that they are STILL holding some of our citizens for a crime that was not committed. They've held them for over a year with no charges. We should sanction the heck out of them and in any way possible in an effort to stand up for our citizens who are trapped in their country. Not doing business with them has nothing to do with the national debt and the recession we've been thrown into. That's just ignorance.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rose

      Wow! So much concern about these poor (imaginary) people that were beaten, abused and "stoned"...I guess sanctions are becoming well known for being based on false, fraudulent accusations and events that NEVER HAPPENED to people who do not exist.
      Just imagine all the terrible "Sanctions" that were placed on Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prison guards and private contractors (hired murderers), not to mention on those animals that murdered the emergency aid workers heading to Gaza.

      September 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      I agree, while sanctions does not run up our national debt, war does. And sanction is the first step to building a case for war. It's Iraq all over again. Get consensus on Iran being an 'enemy of the world' via sanctions, next you have your justification for war and 10 years or 1.2 trillion dollars later a country in debt. Same old story, only difference is one letter. An 'N' instead of a 'Q'.

      September 29, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Rose said: "not to mention on those animals that murdered the emergency aid workers heading to Gaza."

      It's interesting that you would use the term "animals." Dehumanizing someone you dislike (or hate for that matter), when the position given by the administration is that these people in Iran are "bad actors."

      Calling Israeli soldiers animals tells us much more about you than you may realize.

      September 30, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. aman

    Maybe if amenijadiabad didnt run his mouth...

    September 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Independent American

      Who cares if Imanutjob runs his mouth What we should do is ignore him and our media should do the same Don;t give him a stage or a pulpit to rant from. and if his country is a sponsor of terrorism, take a drastic step – toss his UN delegation out of the country and do not allowh any Iranian back in. And if the UN has issues with this, they can take the UN to Switzerland where it belongs - in a neutral country with a long history of neutrality. Besides the Us fronts most of the cost of the US - we shoul cut this out of our budget as well

      September 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Intolerable Shamerican

      Get help

      September 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ANewThought

    Because we don't live in a bubble James. What happens there effects us in ways you cannot imagine. Besides- someone needs to put those egg heads in place. I am confident that the people on that list have contributed money to the terrorists in their country and around the world.

    September 29, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoOrwell

      @NewThought. So if we gave money to terrorist then you did too ya know. James is right, screw US intervention. It messes countries up, dont make me list ALL of them. I assure you we've stuck our noses in places they didnt when we should have been somewhere else. for example, we're fighting wars against WMD's & "terrorists"(very broad term there, political language, right?) when we should have been in Rwanda and Darfur stopping the genocide where people are being mass murdered in churches! Why the hell would the US care, thats not on the agenda. Making everyone democratic is their job. Democracy sucks when we have imperialists at the wheel.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jilla

      Sweet @New Thought & @J. Orwell
      I know what you mean, but to be honest with you, as an Iranian I am so blessed to see the U.S. government making these beautiful remarks today. So I don't think they are necessarily intervening per se. I think that making a declaration is just great. But sorry if it offends you 2. I just had to be honest with you; that my heart really warmed up to see that someone cared about Human Rights violations.

      September 30, 2010 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |

    its all a chess game.pull out troops from iraq leave some add more from behind(afghanistan) take away irans resources. and checkmate.u lose

    September 29, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Until the "don't ask, don"t tell" is repealed......the US has no business telling any other country, anything about human rights!

    September 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • glennenp

      That's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |

    all this bc people were hiking where they weren't suppose too. and this is how the bush administration started with watch pretty soon war with iran.but there not going out wout a fight.

    September 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      The Iranian Army last went to war in the 80's when it fought Saddam. It didn't win that war and there's no way it would win against our vastly superior Army either.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Mary

      Um, where do you get this garbage? How never mind.
      Sadam was PAID and GREENLIGHTED by the US to start that war against Iran...and he was getting Chemical and Biological Weapons as part of the agreement to murder as many Iranian civilians as possible. In the end, the tally was 19 countries (mostly NATO) against Iran.
      Hundreds of American colonels where on the battlefield helping the Iraqis use the chemical and biological weapons as well as administering anti-dotes when the Iraqis accidently gassed themselves in friendly fire incidents.
      The French, and other NATO countries provided fighter jets fully equipped with pilots which took of from Iraq to bomb cities, oil facilities, nuclear plants (Yes Bushehr was around back then)...
      Like I said Mary, the problem with you people is that your mouths are much larger than your neural tubes.

      September 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Allen

    This only confirms what Iran has said all along. If it wasn't the nuclear issue, the US would find some other excuse.

    Who's going to sanction the US for its human rights violations? Has everyone already forgotten about Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, secret renditions, waterboarding, etc., etc.. etc.?

    The hypocrisy is laughable.

    September 29, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      First, the international community knew about GITMO for a long, long time and only decided that it was inconvenient when Bush came to power. Second, you would be hard pressed to find someone in the middle east who things parading someone around naked is torture. Only in America do we consider that torture; everywhere else they electrocute people. Lastly, the CIA experimented with its own people to find out of water boarding was torture. They found that it had no significant impact on their people.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Mary, why don't you let me waterboard you and then you can speak about whether or not it has any impact. Your agenda here is obvous. How much does AIPAC pay you to demonize Iran?

      September 29, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Faith

    Iran is a corrupt and evil country. They murder and torture their own citizens. They kidnapped three USA hikers in Iraq 14 months ago and only released one female one that had cancer, after they demanded $500,000 USD equivalent dollars first; they are wicked and greedy gangsters. Shia Islam Mullahs Hate all Americans and Israelis indiscrimanately, they seek to bring death to America and Death to Israel. They fund terrorists in all evil works and deeds, including Hezbollah and Hamas, even though radical Sunni Muslims hate Shia Muslims, they unite as brothers to kill all non Muslims in The West, especially America and Israel. They are lovers of Nazis. They desire death to Christians and Jews, they demand conversion to Islam and Sharia Law, to rule world-wide. Iran denies the 9/11 Attack against America and WWIi Holocaust facts. I am a proud Roman Catholic American. Iran is an enemy to all America and all democracies and all free countries. Women and girls have zero rights in Islam. They are slaves, ONLY.

    September 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      "Our race is the Master Race. We Jews are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves." –
      Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a speech to the Knesset quoted in Begin and the Beasts," New Statesman, June 25, 1982 by Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonathon

      Hehe wow get off the weed! btw we support all Drug cartels in South America to keep those countries busy from advancing and creating their own circle of business unions like Europe because we want to keep making money. SO, Technically we are supporting them killing their own people and are evil so please shut up with the whole muslim thing already its soo yesterday...

      September 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephinitis

      I am married to a Shia Muslim and his family is one of the sweetesta and most kind Muslim family you will ever come across. The practice Islam around the clock. You cannot say that Islam give no room to women or children. As I said I am married to a Muslim and have 100% of my rights and non are kept from you. You cannot say speak for Islam if you have never seen/been in the world of true Islam. It is a beautiful thing, never did I see either one of my sisters in law held captive from rights by one of their husbands. My neice and nephew have every available option in the world and they too are muslim with Muslim parents. You have it backwards my friend and i feel sorry for you for letting false Islam overcome your thoughts about it and and blind to the beauty of it all.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samuel Johnson

      I think this is absolutely ridiculous. U.S. foreign policy towards Iran is so biased and so hypocritical that it can only be in self interest when our leaders pretend to care about the human rights of people in other nations. What about Egypt's (a dictatorship with a corrupt hated leader) arrests of government dissidents and poets who dare speak out against their humanitarian crimes? What about Saudi Arabia's public beheadings (with a sword) and continued mistreatment of its citizens and women? These are just two examples in the region that receive tens of millions of dollars in military aid from the U.S. yearly! I mean do you people really believe that our administration is "committed" to supporting the people of Iran; and if so why is that the case? I can not take these accusations from the U.S. seriously when they continue to not only turn a blind eye to the (as far as I'm concerned) more serious crimes of other nations in the region, namely Israel of all countries, whom yearly commits murder against the Palestinians. What about China, who's ass we continuously kiss; what their crimes don't matter anymore?

      September 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samuel Johnson

      Egypt violently jails a prominent poet for speaking against the government. No mention from the U.S. administration. Saudi Arabia has a never ending list of humanitarian violations; not only no mention from the administration but they are best of buddies! Israel, I mean the list goes on with Israel; that's a whole other issue. How do you expect the world to take these ridiculous accusations and "sanctions" seriously with these double standards? It's all for political gain of isolating Iran, that is all. What a joke, to actually take the effort and the audacity to sanction the leaders of another country is only asking for more enemies who realistically speaking don't even scratch the surface on presenting any sort of military, economic, or political threat to the United States or world security.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jilla

      Oh Faith!! Where do I begin with you? Could you please spend 1 mintue on Google to learn more about Iran? Oh please don't tell me that you go to church! I've been a Christian for many years, and I can't believe how much hatred and racism I've seen among Caucasian Christians. Faith, you live in a paranoid schitzo world. First off, Iran is 70 million people, only 1-2 percent of which even gives a hoot about Islam. Second, women in Iran are chiefs of staffs of hospitals, and architects for 40-story highrise buildings. So no!! They're not slaves!! Some are under the stupid Sharia law, but not for long. I was born in Iran, and I was there until 27 years ago. It's a gorgeous blessed land, where it's mostly mountains and beautiful kind people. Faith, you're filled with hatred and racism. Please stop dismissing people right away. Have you ever traveled anywhere in your life? So just because for example there was Hitler, then ALL Germans are evil? Beethoven, Bach, etc. Do you lump everybody in the same pot? Why are you so paranoid? Has Rupert Murdoch bought your soul? Listen well: The bible says: "They will know you by your love." Wake up Faith!! You're the one who's hell bound, not the innocent people who have dreams of freedom and a true revolution. Rememver 4th of July?? Don't Iranians have a right to dream of peace? Do you ever read the bible? Iran was called Persia before 1939. That's where God's anointed, King Cyrus was. Do you have any decency or compassion in your heart? Do you ever pray? Do you ever help the world become a better place? I know that Islam will be washed out of Iran.. at least from the Iranian government very very soon. And just remember Faith: On the day the Persians celebrate their 4th of July, I will be remembering you and your close-minded, Ku Klux Klan mentality, and how people like you will never open their hearts to what's good and beautiful.

      September 30, 2010 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |

    that's very unpatriotic of you allen.united we yea sure.

    September 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Daniel

    Shouldnt our own homeless and working people of our own country come first? Cities' police and fire departments are cutting back, city pools didnt open this summer. States are out of money. How about our United States get united and take care of our own.

    September 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      You're right we do need to unite but what does this have to do with Iran.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ray Porter

    Ah(MAD)inejad needs to go,along with all hardline cleric's befor they start WW111

    September 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • kylefromohio

      Hope you are referring to all (on all sides) hardline cleric's; It seems to me the Right wing cons in any country seems to be a group that want to suppress the rights of others. and have a hatred for other right wing cons in other countries "War". The Taliban, the Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Tea party. Yet each has the moral ground of thier GOD. go figure.

      September 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Independent American

      If there is going to be a WW III with iran or North Korea better to have it now before they get nukes.

      Having said that a WW III is never going to happen - none of the big powers (China Russia Britain India US australia) would stand for it -

      September 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Intolerable Shamerican

      Take your medication

      September 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jilla

      @Kyle from Ohio,
      You're speaking the truth. So so true. I loved that point. You should be preaching on sundays.

      September 30, 2010 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |

    look these people in the arab world have long lived this way of torture n machismo.and all of a sudden the us is trying to change thousands yr old lifestyles.yea right.they give two s$!ts on human how about katrina haiti or even skid row in l.a minutes from the wealthy.its about conquer.all empires have the same mentality.

    September 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberty Now

      I saw the word Arab, and I got so excited that I pressed the return button by mistake. O.k., first off, we Iranians are NOT Arabs!!! We were slaughtered. Islam never was a blessing for Persia. It might be good for other places, but we Iranians abhor the history of what Islam has done to us. We're in pain, we're bleeding, we're being suppressed, and guess what dear: WE SHALL OVERCOME! We're a 5,000 year old nation who is having a very bad 33 years. But we will be victorious my friend. Promised, sealed, and soon to be delivered !

      September 30, 2010 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |

    ww3 is about to start with israel striking first.this is just the begining,sanctions,freezing assets.their trying to disable their resources. the U.S empire shall win and conquer all rich oil and drug infested nations.

    September 29, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Arthur

    America, the pot calling the kettel black.

    September 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gloria

    It is obvious that Iran does not like us. They released the female hiker,but she still has to return back.The other hikers are collatoral. At the United Nations talk the female hiker met up with the Iranian leader.You can tell she is keeping a low profile. In all if we don't keep close watch the enx of the world may be soonet than we think. Remember those people think suicide is heaven,murder e tc......

    September 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5