More than a year after EA correspondents and readers debated a rights-first, rather than a nuclear-first approach, to sanctions, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner have put out that line:
The Obama administration is adding eight Iranian officials to a financial blacklist for what the administration says were their roles in human rights violations following the disputed June 2009 presidential election.
The Treasury and State departments jointly announced on Wednesday that the sanctions order had been signed by President Barack Obama.
The order blocks any assets in the U.S. held by the eight Iranians and prohibits Americans from doing business with them.
Among the eight Iranians is Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp.
The administration said that forces under his command participated in beatings, murder and arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters in the aftermath of the Iranian election.
The White House has issued an accompanying statement:
As the president noted in his recent address to the United Nations General Assembly, human rights are a matter of moral and pragmatic necessity for the United States.
The United States will always stand with those in Iran who aspire to have their voices heard. We will be a voice for those aspirations that are universal, and we continue to call upon the Iranian government to respect the rights of its people....
This order provides the United States with new tools to target human rights abuses engaged in by officials of the government of Iran.
In addition to Jafari, the individuals targeted are:
- Sadeq Mahsouli, the current Minister of Welfare and Security
- Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, former Minister of Interior and now Iran Prosecutor-General
- Saeed Mortazavi, former Tehran Prosecutor General and now a Presidential aide
- Heydar Moslehi, Minister of Intelligence
- Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Minister of Interior
- Ahmad-Reza Radan, deputy chief of Iran's National Police
- Hossein Taeb, former commander of the Basij commander and current deputy commander for Intelligence for the Revolutionary Guard