US sanctions Iran Khamenei's son and key generals and advisers

US sanctions Iran Khamenei's son and key generals and advisers

The Trump administration on Monday announced sanctions on Mojtaba Khamenei, the second son of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and eight other advisers, among them Ali Akbar Velayati and the head of judiciary Ebrahim Raisi, The National reports.

Washington has also offered a reward of $20 million for information to secure the release and return of Robert Levinson, the longest-held US hostage, last seen in Iran in 2007.

The announcement came on the 40th anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis, when 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage at the US embassy in Tehran for 444 days from November 4, 1979.

The sanctions announced by the Treasury Department on Monday target “Khamenei’s network”, specifically appointees in the Office of the Supreme Leader, the Expediency Council, the Armed Forces General Staff, and the Judiciary.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "The designation seeks to block funds from flowing to a shadow network of Khamenei’s military and foreign affairs advisers who have for decades oppressed the Iranian people, supported terrorism, and advanced destabilising policies around the world.

"While the Iranian regime’s decision to jail our diplomats has cast a 40-year shadow over our relations, the United States knows that the longest-suffering victims of the Iranian regime are the Iranian people.

"We wish nothing more for them than a future with a truly representative government and friendship with the American people."