US sanctions two Iranian judges for overseeing 'Iranian regimes miscarriage of justice'

Washington DC, United StatesUpdated: Dec 20, 2019, 10:11 AM IST
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File Photo: US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin Photograph:(Reuters)

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In a statement released on Thursday, The US Department of the Treasury said that the sanctions were to be placed on two Iranian judges for punishing "Iranian citizens and dual-nationals for exercising their freedoms of expression or assembly."

The United States on Thursday sanctioned two Iranian judges for punishing "Iranian citizens and dual-nationals for exercising their freedoms of expression or assembly."

"Today, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two judges presiding over branches of the Iranian regime`s Revolutionary Court who, for years, have punished Iranian citizens and dual-nationals for exercising their freedoms of expression or assembly. In many cases, these judges sentenced political prisoners to death," the US Treasury said in a statement.

"Through their respective branches of the Revolutionary Courts, Abolghassem Salavati and Mohammad Moghisseh, both designated today, oversaw the Iranian regime's miscarriage of justice in show trials in which journalists, attorneys, political activists, and members of Iran`s ethnic and religious minority groups were penalised for exercising their freedom of expression and assembly and sentenced to lengthy prison terms, lashes, and even execution," it added.

Under the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the persons designated subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them."In addition, foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate significant transactions for, or persons that provide material or certain other support to, the individuals designated today risk exposure to sanctions that could sever their access to the US financial system or block their property and interests in property under US jurisdiction," US Treasury Department said.

Earlier, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said, "Today I am announcing several new actions in support of the Iranian people. First, I have re-designated Iran as a Country of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act. The world should know Iran is among the worst violators of basic fundamental religious freedoms. Second, today the United States Department of Treasury will sanction two Iranian judges: Mohammad Moghisseh, and Abolghassem Salavati.

"The US Secretary of State further announced that under the Immigration and Nationality Act, visas for current or former Iranian officials and individuals responsible for or complicit in the abuse, detention, or killing of peaceful protesters, or for inhibiting their rights to freedom of expression or assembly, will be restricted.

"Our action will also restrict visas for these individuals` family members. The materials that are being provided to us by citizens from all across Iran will be invaluable in us using this new authority to put true pressure and to hold accountable those who are denying freedom and justice to the people of Iran," he said.

Pompeo said if the regime in Iran respects the rights of all Iranians and abides by its commitments, it can win back respect from its own citizens.