US sanctions Iran’s interior minister over human rights abuses

 US sanctions Iran’s interior minister over human rights abuses
The sanctions target Interior Minister and chair of Iran’s National Domestic Security Council (NDSC), Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, seven law enforcement officials and an IRGC commander. (File/AFP)
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Updated 20 May 2020

US sanctions Iran’s interior minister over human rights abuses

 US sanctions Iran’s interior minister over human rights abuses
  • US imposed sanctions on Fazli, senior law enforcement and military officials over human rights abuses
  • The action freezes any US-held assets of those blacklisted

WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Iran’s interior minister, accusing him of having a role in serious human rights abuse, including giving orders that led to violence against peaceful protesters, the US Treasury Department said.
The Treasury said in a statement that Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli gave orders authorizing the Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) to use lethal force in response to protests in November, leading to the killing of protesters, including at least 23 minors.
The Treasury’s action on Wednesday also blacklisted seven senior officials of the LEF and a provincial commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The LEF Cooperative Foundation — which the Treasury said is controlled by the LEF and which is active in Iran’s energy, construction, services, technology and banking industries — was also blacklisted, as were its director and members of the board of trustees. The organization’s name in Iran is Bonyad Taavon NAJA.
Wednesday’s action freezes any US-held assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.
“The United States will continue to hold accountable Iranian officials and institutions that oppress and abuse their own people,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have spiked since US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018 from the Iran nuclear deal struck by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and began reimposing sanctions that had been eased under the accord.


Egypt: Iranian nuclear issue should be linked to its regional interference

Egypt: Iranian nuclear issue should be linked to its regional interference
Updated 28 min 34 sec ago

Egypt: Iranian nuclear issue should be linked to its regional interference

Egypt: Iranian nuclear issue should be linked to its regional interference
  • Cairo’s ambassador to the US calls for cooperation with the new administration on range of issues
  • Zahran: Many opportunities for cooperation between Egypt and the US in various fields under new administration

CAIRO: Egypt believes that the Iranian nuclear issue is not the only problem with regard to Iran and its position in the region, according to Motaz Zahran, Cairo’s ambassador in Washington. Tehran’s interference and its efforts to destroy the assets of Arab countries throughout the region is another issue that must be confronted, he said.
Zahran said in a virtual interview with the National Council for US-Arab Relations that there is an opportunity for cooperation with the new US administration in light of the Iranian interference in various conflicts in the region, whether in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or Yemen, which led to the deepening of their problems.
“The Iranian nuclear issue should not be dealt with separately from Iranian interference in all regional conflicts, and there are discussions between Egypt and the US regarding Iran, with the Republicans and the Democrats,” he added.
The ambassador said Egypt believes that there should not be any unilateral move on the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. He saw a need for the new US administration to play a constructive role in resolving the dam dispute.
There are, he said, many opportunities for cooperation between Egypt and the US in various fields under the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The meeting was moderated by Ed Royce, former US representative, who chaired the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Answering a question on the storming of the Capitol building on Jan. 6, Zahran said it was sad and shocking for Egypt and the whole world, and he linked what happened in America to what Egypt witnessed when some extremist groups — mainly the Muslim Brotherhood — took advantage of large-scale demonstrations and turned them into violent protests.
He pointed out that in both nations there was a widespread national desire for unity among the people which followed the state of chaos. There are some lessons to be learned, the most important of which is that rights and freedoms, in general, are not absolute, but are linked to guaranteeing others’ rights, as well as achieving order, security and public peace.