On March 9, the United States designated two Revolutionary Guards interrogators in the first new sanctions imposed by the Biden administration on Iran. Ali Hemmatian and Masoud Safadri were involved in torturing political prisoners and protesters detained during anti-government protests in 2019 and 2020 sparked by a gas price hike. The sanctions blocked them and their immediate family members from entry into the United States.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the sanctions as the U.N. Human Rights Council met to discuss Iran and North Korea. “We made clear our concerns about the abuses the Iranian government continues to perpetrate against its citizens, including the unjust detention of far too many in deplorable conditions,” Blinken said in a statement. “The United States is committed to promoting accountability for those responsible for such actions.” The following is a statement by Secretary Blinken.
Today, @UN_HRC we made clear our concerns about the #HumanRights situation in Iran. The United States will continue to hold violators accountable. Therefore, today I designated Ali Hemmatian and Masoud Safdari for gross human rights violations against protestors in 2019 and 2020.— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 9, 2021
Statement by Secretary Blinken on March 9, 2021: “Today at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, we made clear our concerns about the abuses the Iranian government continues to perpetrate against its citizens, including the unjust detention of far too many in deplorable conditions. The United States is committed to promoting accountability for those responsible for such actions. Therefore, I am announcing the designation of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) interrogators Ali Hemmatian and Masoud Safdari pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2021 for their involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely the torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment (CIDTP) of political prisoners and persons detained during protests in 2019 and 2020 in Iran. These individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.
“We will continue to consider all appropriate tools to impose costs on those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Iran. We will also work with our allies to promote accountability for such violations and abuses. The United States will continue to support the rights of people in Iran and demand the Iranian government treat its people with respect and dignity.