By FATIMA HUSSEIN
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on members of Iran’s intelligence agency, leaders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, prison wardens and others, acting 40 days since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died while being held by the morality police.
The U.S. government’s sanctions arm designated 10 members of Iran’s leadership with financial blocks and penalties, continuing a string of actions imposed against Tehran for its repression of protestors and disrupting internet access.
Targeted in the latest sanctions were the commander of the Guard’s intelligence organization, its deputy commander, wardens from a number of prisons and an Iranian company that conducts social media filtering.
Separate sanctions from the State Department were levied against individuals and companies that engage in and train people in hacking, and others.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. “will continue to impose costs on individuals and entities in Iran who engage in the brutal repression of the Iranian people.”
Iran’s morality police arrested Amini on Sept. 13 in Tehran, where she was visiting from her hometown in the country’s western Kurdish region. Police detained her over wearing her hijab too loosely. Iran requires women to wear the headscarf in a way that completely covers their hair when in public.
She collapsed at a police station and died three days later.
Amini remains a potent symbol in protests that have posed one of the most serious challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 2009 Green Movement protests drew millions to the streets.
Her death set off protests in dozens of cities across the country of 80 million people, with young women marching in the streets and publicly exposing and cutting off their hair. The government has responded with a fierce crackdown, blaming the protests on foreign interference.
Rights groups say that since the protests, security forces have killed over 200 people, including children.
“Forty days after the tragic death of Mahsa Amini, Iranians continue to bravely protest in the face of brutal suppression and disruption of internet access,” said Brian Nelson, the treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. He said the sanctions are “part of our commitment to hold all levels of the Iranian government accountable for its repression.”