IRGC's extraterritorial Quds force commander Qassem Soleimani

US Imposes Sanctions On Iranian Officials Over 'Soleimani Revenge Plot'

Friday, 12/08/2023

The United States has imposed sanctions against Iranian officers who were allegedly involved in plots to target US officials in revenge for the killing of IRGC Commander Qassem Soleimani.

The measures by Washington are part of a raft of penalties imposed by the US Treasury and State Departments against 37 individuals from 13 countries accused of violating human rights.

The implementation of sanctions and visa restrictions was announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday, ahead of Human Rights Day on Sunday.

Among those targeted are Iranian intelligence officers Majid Dastjani Farahani and Mohammad Mahdi Khanpour Ardestani, as identified by the Treasury Department. The officers are alleged to have played a role in recruiting individuals for US operations, including carrying out lethal actions against current and former US government officials in retaliation for the 2020 killing of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani.

Additionally, the officers are accused of recruiting individuals for surveillance activities focused on religious sites, businesses, and other facilities within the United States.

Iran vowed revenge after the US airstrike in Baghdad that killed Soleimani. The Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York has not responded to requests for immediate comment on the recent sanctions.

Canada has also invoked a sanctions law targeting corrupt office holders to join forces with the US in taking action against officials in Russia, Iran, and Myanmar.

The sanctions specifically target individuals accused of longstanding human rights violations. The list includes two senior Iranian officials accused of overseeing the torture of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was killed in custody in 2003.

The latest sanctions fall under the Magnitsky Act. The law is aimed at penalizing corrupt officials and has only been employed twice since its passage in 2018.

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