U.S. sanctions senior employees of Iranian state-run media

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on senior employees of Iran’s state media corporation, which it accused of being a “critical tool” in suppressing and censoring the Iranian people, increasing pressure on Tehran over its crackdown. about the protests.

The U.S. Treasury Department says in a statement that it has imposed sanctions on six of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which Washington banned in 2013. assigned to senior employees.

The Treasury said IRIB has aired hundreds of forced confessions from detainees and produced and broadcast interviews with people who were forced to claim their loved ones were not killed by Iranian authorities during the latest protests, but died of random, unrelated causes.

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Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The Iranian government’s systematic reliance on coerced confessions illustrates the government’s refusal to tell the truth to its citizens and the international community,” Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.

“The United States remains committed to supporting the Iranian people as they continue their peaceful protests,” he said, adding that Washington would continue to hold the Iranian government accountable for human rights abuses and censorship.

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Monday’s move targeted two media corporation “interrogator-journalists” accused by the Treasury of collaborating with the government to extract and hand over forced confessions, as well as IRIB’s director and deputy director and others.

This action freezes any designated US assets and generally prevents Americans from dealing with them. Those who engage in certain transactions with targeted employees are also subject to sanctions.

Demonstrations following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16. became one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s clerical leadership since 1979. revolutions.

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HRANA news agency reported that 344 people were killed, including 52 minors. It also reported that 40 members of the security forces were killed and 15,820 people were arrested.

According to state media reports, up to 19 of the thousands of people arrested face capital charges.

Iran, which has said Amini died due to pre-existing conditions, has accused its enemies, including the United States, of fomenting the unrest to destabilize the country.

Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis in Washington and Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Edited by William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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