U.S. State Dept blacklists two Iranian officials

U.S. State Dept blacklists two Iranian officials

The U.S. State Department blacklisted two Iranian government interrogators, accusing them of torture and other human rights violations, in what appeared to be the first such action against Tehran under the Biden administration.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement accused the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) interrogators of gross violations of human rights, including “torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” of political prisoners and people detained in 2019 and 2020 protests in Iran.

The Biden administration chose to take the action despite its efforts to coax Iran into negotiations over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that former President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018, dramatically increasing tensions with Tehran.

“We will continue to consider all appropriate tools to impose costs on those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Iran," Reuters cited Blinken as saying.

The move bars Ali Hemmatian and Masoud Safdari, as well as their immediate family members, from entering the United States.

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