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Office of the Spokesperson
“Fulfill the first duty of any government. Treat your people with the dignity to which every member of the family of mankind is entitled. Uphold your commitments under your own constitution, and international law. Act like a normal country. Unleash your people’s vast potential. We urge these things out of principle, but also as a message of common sense to the regime. True prosperity and stability will never come to Iran while you terrorize and jail your people.”
-Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Speech at State Department, December 19
THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT SANCTIONS TWO JUDGES IN IRAN’S REVOLUTIONARY COURTY FOR THEIR NOTORIOUS REPRESSION
- The malicious conduct of the two individuals, Abolghassem Salavati and Mohammad Moghisseh, played an instrumental role in enabling some of the regime’s most egregious stifling of dissent over the past several decades. These individuals were identified as key enforcers of the Islamic Republic’s oppressive rule penalizing the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly.
- Their courts were responsible for sentencing nearly all of the 700 prisoners of conscience unjustly detained in Iran today in what the United Nations considers sham trials.
- Among other egregious acts, Moghisseh sentenced Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer and women’s rights defender, to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes. Salavati sentenced hundreds of political prisoners, journalists, and human rights activists to prison or death and is the same judge who sentenced American citizen Xiyue Wang to ten years in prison on false charges of espionage.
- Sanctions are under Executive Order (E.O.) 13846.
VISA RESTRICTIONS FOR CURRENT AND FORMER SENIOR IRANIAN OFFICIALS
- Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the United States is restricting visas for current and former senior Iranian officials and other Iranian individuals responsible for, or complicit in, the abuse, detention, or killing of peaceful protestors or inhibiting their rights to freedom of expression or peaceful assembly. This action also restricts visas for the family members of these officials.
- Under Presidential Proclamation 9645, Iranians could receive visas in the F, M, and J categories (i.e. student visas). Under the restrictions the Secretary announced today, the officials and their family members implicated in killing protesters are no longer eligible for any visas, of any visa class.
IRAN DESIGNATION AS COUNTRY OF PARTICULAR CONCERN
- On December 18, Secretary Pompeo re-designated Iran as a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.
- Iran has been designated as a CPC since 1999.