Protesters carry a man shot during protests in Shiraz, Iran, November 17, 2019
The Trump Administration has announced another set of sanctions against Iran’s officials, including Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli.
The Treasury said Rahmani-Fazli gave orders authorizing Iran’s security forces to fire on demonstrators in last November’s protests across the country. The US statement claimed at least 23 juveniles were among the victims.
Treasury sanctions Iran’s Interior Minister and senior law enforcement officials in connection with serious human rights abuses https://t.co/WRgtGi6dTW
— Treasury Department (@USTreasury) May 20, 2020
Four days of demonstrations were sparked on November 15 by the Government’s sudden 50% to 200% rise in petrol prices. Amnesty International concluded, from reports and witnesses inside Iran, that at least 304 protesters were killed and said the total might be far higher. The organization said many of the victims were shot at close range, some in the back as they ran away.
Three Iranian officials told Reuters that at least 1,500 people — demonstrators, security personnel, and bystanders — died.
In December, well-placed sources revealed that the Supreme Leader ordered his officials to quell the gatherings with any necessary means, including force.
Amnesty released further details of the killings on Wednesday in a 152-page report. Philip Luther, Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, summarized, “The fact that so many people were shot while posing no threat whatsoever shows the sheer ruthlessness of the security forces.”
The US Treasury’s order also sanctioned seven senior law enforcement officials, including overall commander Hossein Ashtari Fard, and a provincial commander of the Revolutionary Guards.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi rejected Washington’s latest step, “Washington’s fruitless and repetitive sanctions against Iranian officials is a sign of weakness, despair and confusion of the U.S. administration.”