Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
The United States condemns the tragic and brutal death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who died in the custody of the Iranian Morality Police after being detained for purportedly wearing a hijab too loosely. We mourn with her loved ones and with the Iranian people.
In response to this and other human rights violations in Iran—including the violent suppression of peaceful protests—the United States is imposing sanctions on Iran’s Morality Police and senior security officials who have engaged in serious human rights abuses, pursuant to Executive Order 13553. The Morality Police, an element of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), arrests women for wearing “inappropriate” hijab and enforces other restrictions on freedom of expression. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is further designating Haj Ahmad Mirzaei and Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi, both of whom are senior officials in the Morality Police.
Additionally, OFAC is designating: Esmail Khatib, Iran’s Minister of Intelligence; Manouchehr Amanollahi, the LEF commander of the Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province of Iran; Qasem Rezaei, the deputy commander of the LEF; KiyumarsHeidari, the commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army Ground Forces; and Salar Abnoush, the deputy commander of the Basij, a paramilitary militia and a subsidiary force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. These individuals have been all involved in the suppression and killing of non-violent protestors.
The Iranian government needs to end its systemic persecution of women and allow peaceful protest. The United States will continue to voice our support for human rights in Iran and hold those who violate them to account.