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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US plans sanctions on Iranian officials involved in brutal suppression of protests

There have been numerous protests in Iran against economic conditions [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 November, 2020

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Hundreds of Iranian protesters have been killed by security forces.


The US plans new sanctions on Iranian officials who were involved in violence against protesters, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The sources told the agency that Washington will target those responsible for the suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Iran last year, which left around 1,500 people dead.

The sanctions will begin next week to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the violent government crackdown, which saw 400 women and 17 teenagers killed.

The Iranian interior ministry said 225 people died during the two-weeks of unrest, sparked by an increase in gas prices.

"If true, it will simply be indicative of the desperation of an administration whose hostility towards the people of Iran is well-known," Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for Iran's mission to the UN told Reuters in a statement.

The news comes after reports that President Donald Trump was planning a "flood of sanctions" on Iran during his last months in office.

Analysts believe these are aimed at punishing Iranian officials and to make it harder for President-elect Joe Biden to return to a nuclear deal with Tehran.

While officials denied the sanctions would be so far-reaching, they did say that more Iranian security and government officials will be targeted in the coming weeks.

"We've been sanctioning Iranian entities nearly every week for the past six months. There's no reason we would put our foot on the brake now, but we're not pushing it down on the gas pedal any further either," a US official told the agency.

The Trump administration withdrew from a nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018, enforcing a long list of new sanctions against Iranian officials since then.

Last week, the US sanctioned Iranian oil officials with alleged links to the Revolutionary Guards.

Trump has applied a policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran since coming to office, and worked on cutting Iranian oil exports "to zero".

Joe Biden will seek a return for the US to the Iran nuclear deal, analysts believe, which was agreed when the president-elect was Barack Obama's deputy.

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