Two interrogators belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been designated by the United States for alleged gross violations of detainees’ human rights.
Ali Hemmatian and Masoud Safdari are being sanctioned for their part in “the torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of political prisoners and persons detained during protests in 2019 and 2020 in Iran.”
The move means that the two IRGC interrogators and their families are banned from entering the United States until sanctions are lifted.
It is the first time the Biden administration has designated individuals belonging to the Iranian regime, and comes as the two countries are examining the possibility of the US returning to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The decision was announced in the immediate aftermath of a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. In a statement published by the State Department and the US Virtual Embassy in Iran, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “Today at the Human Rights Council, we made clear our concerns about the abuses the Iranian government continues to perpetrate against its citizens, including the unjust detention of far too many in deplorable conditions.
“We will continue to consider all appropriate tools to impose costs on those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Iran. We will also work with our allies to promote accountability for such violations and abuses. The United States will continue to support the rights of people in Iran and demand the Iranian government treat its people with respect and dignity.”