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U.S. imposes sanctions on senior Iranian officers for rights abuses


09:07, December 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two senior Iranian officers for alleged serious human rights abuses in the Islamic republic.

The Departments of Treasury and State blacklisted Hassan Firouzabadi, chairman of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Abdollah Araqi, deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Ground Force, under a presidential order targeting serious human rights abuses by government officials and persons in Iran since the June 2009 presidential election.

The move bars any transactions with the pair, and their assets on U.S. soil are frozen in addition to visa denial.

"The Iranian people have suffered tremendously at the hands of senior officials, who instead of protecting their basic rights have ordered and orchestrated widespread, serious human rights abuses aimed at silencing criticism and punishing dissent," said Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Adam Szubin.

"In support of the Iranian people's quest for justice and accountability, we are taking further action today to expose the involvement of senior Iranian government officials in serious human rights abuses," he said in a statement.

The U.S. has slapped sanctions on a number of Iranian officials and individuals since the controversial 2009 election in Iran, which led to protests in the country.

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