In June 2009, the world watched as Iran’s security forces violently suppressed thousands of Iranians who were calling for transparency and accountability in their government. Nearly two years after Iran’s brave citizens took to the streets, the struggle for civil liberties and fundamental rights continues. Today, the United States has sanctioned three Iranian government entities complicit in the ongoing brutal repression – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Basij Resistance Force, and Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) – as well as LEF Commander Ismail Ahmadi Moghadam.
While Iran’s leaders hypocritically applaud protesters abroad calling for self-determination, many of Iran’s own citizens — including founding members of the revolution — are being held as political prisoners merely for holding views contrary to Iran’s leaders. Iranians are being executed for crimes based on dubious charges and without the due process guaranteed under Iran’s constitution. Religious and ethnic minorities are intimidated and imprisoned, while women’s rights activists, human rights defenders, clerics, and labor leaders are targeted for retribution for seeking human rights for themselves and other Iranian citizens. By barring many of Iran’s most accomplished artists, journalists, and academics from working, and forcing many to flee their homeland, the Iranian government restricts the space where free thought and expression can flourish.
The United States stands with all Iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights, their dignity and their freedom, and we call on the Iranian government to end its systematic human rights abuses and political hypocrisy. Today’s sanctions reflect our commitment to hold accountable those governments and officials that violate human rights and deprive their citizens of the opportunities and future they deserve.