US Sanctions Two Iranian Officials For “Gross Human Rights Violations” | Human rights news

The Biden administration bans two members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from entering the United States.

The United States has sanctioned two Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials for their alleged involvement in human rights violations against political prisoners and Iranian protesters.

In one declaration On Tuesday, the US State Department said Ali Hemmatian and Masoud Safdari, whom he described as IRGC interrogators, and their immediate families would be banned from entering the country.

The department accused the two men of being involved “in flagrant human rights violations, namely torture and / or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of political prisoners and people detained during demonstrations in 2019 and 2020 in Iran ”.

“The United States will continue to hold violators to account,” tweeted Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The move comes as US President Joe Biden’s administration and the Iranian government are at an impasse over efforts to revert to a 2015 nuclear deal that saw Tehran cut its nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions. .

Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign that saw the United States impose a series of economic sanctions on the country.

Iran has rejected the Biden administration’s request to return to full compliance with the nuclear deal first, instead calling on the United States, as the party that left the deal, to do so first. not and to lift its sanctions.

Biden also faces internal pressure over his plans to return to the deal and re-engage diplomatically with Iran.

More than 100 US lawmakers from the Republican and Democratic parties on Tuesday urged the administration to “seek an agreement or series of agreements with Iran that are comprehensive in nature to deal with the array of threats Iran is making. weigh on the region ”.

“America and our allies must engage Iran through a combination of diplomatic mechanisms and sanctions to achieve full compliance with international obligations and a demonstrated commitment by Iran to combat its pernicious behavior,” they said. in a press release. letter blink.

In an apparent response to the letter, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Tuesday that the 2015 nuclear deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA – “IS the global plan.” .

“The ‘C’ stands for COMPREHENSIVE,” he tweeted.

“It was only implemented by Iran. Instead of posturing, US & E3 [UK, Germany and France] must finally live up to their commitments made, but never kept. “

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