Treasury Department Sanctions Iran’s Interior Minister Over Human Rights Abuses

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Font Size:

The Treasury Department announced Wednesday a new round of sanctions against Iran, targeting Iran’s Interior Minister and other government officials for their role in human rights abuses against the people of Iran.

In addition to Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, the sanctions also target eight other individuals, two prisons and a law enforcement group, according to Reuters. The Treasury press release implicated Fazli in the human rights abuses committed by Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), the country’s national police force and an organization that is under the authority of the Interior Ministry.

The United States has been engaged in a sanctions campaign against Iran for over a decade in response to concerns about the country’s role in international terrorism, regional proxy conflicts and nuclear weapons manufacturing.

Iran's Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli speaks during a press conference in the capital Tehran on July 1, 2018. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli (Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

Last year, President Donald Trump sanctioned Iran’s national bank after the country was suspected of bombing a Saudi Arabian oil field, and earlier this year the Treasury Department levied more sanctions after Iran fired missiles against two bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces. (RELATED: Iran Sends Oil To Venezuela Despite American Sanctions)

The Treasury called out several human rights abuses committed by the Interior Ministry and the LEF, including its response to a November 2019 protest that led to at least 1,500 deaths and more than 12,000 arrests. The press release also stated that the LEF was cooperating with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an Iranian paramilitary group that is designated as a terrorist organization.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stated in the press release that “the United States will continue to hold accountable Iranian officials and institutions that oppress and abuse their own people.”