US considering new sanctions over Iran protests: White House official

A protester gestures under a flag of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) during a demonstration in support of the Iranian people amid a wave of protests spreading throughout the country. (AFP)
Updated 03 January 2018
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US considering new sanctions over Iran protests: White House official

WASHINGTON: The White House intends to introduce sanctions against elements of the Iranian regime or its supporters involved in a crackdown against countrywide protests, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.
“We are looking across the board,” the official said, pointing to authorities that allow President Donald Trump to target organizations or individuals involved in human rights violations, censorship or preventing free assembly.
“That requires information, but there is a lot of information out there, so we intend to start assembling that and see what we can do.” The official, who asked for anonymity, said the United States would “use all the information sources at our disposal to be able to get actionable information about who is doing the crackdown, who is violating human rights, who is using violence against protesters and to feed that in to our sanctions designation machinery.”
Meanwhile, a senior official has said the US may seek an emergency session at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva over the ongoing situation in Iran.


Fresh protests in Iraq as medics raise death toll to 11

Updated 22 July 2018
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Fresh protests in Iraq as medics raise death toll to 11

  • Security forces remained deployed around the capital Baghdad
  • Overall medical sources put the death toll in the unrest at 11 people

BAGHDAD: Fresh protests hit southern Iraq Sunday as medical sources put at 11 the number of demonstrators killed in two weeks of unrest sparked by ire over corruption and lack of public services.
Security forces remained deployed around the capital Baghdad after struggling Friday to disperse crowds of angry protesters who took to the streets.
Demonstrations have roiled swathes of southern and central Iraq since erupting in the oil-rich port city of Basra on July 8, when security forces opened fire killing one person.
Overall medical sources put the death toll in the unrest at 11 people, three in each of the cities Basra, Samawah and Najaf, and one in both the cities of Diwaniyah and Karbala.
Most of them were killed by gunfire from unidentified assailants, while one person suffocated to death on tear gas used to disperse the demonstrators.
Protesters on Sunday took to the streets in the cities of Samawah and Nasiriyah, chanting “no to corruption,” a scourge Iraqis say has long blighted their country.
Since the start of the demonstrations those involved have focused their anger on the political establishment, with government buildings and party offices being sacked or set ablaze.
The Iraqi authorities have scrambled to halt the unrest and have blocked social media sites online to try to prevent the spread of protests.
Iraq is in a state of political limbo with Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi overseeing a caretaker government as wrangling to form a new government drags on after elections in May.
A coalition headed by populist cleric Moqtada Sadr topped the polls, campaigning on an anti-graft ticket to claim the most seats in parliament.