In a second round of sanctions this month, the US Treasury targeted institutions and individuals engaging in human rights abuses in Iran.

US Treasury.

US Treasury. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The US Department of the Treasury has announced that the US will be imposing further sanctions on Iran, this time on 6 individuals and 2 ‘entities’ accused of committing human rights violations. According to the Treasury’s website, this round of sanctions specifically focus on “human rights abuses, censorship and enhanced monitoring by the Iranian government.”


The first entity targeted by the US sanctions is the Ansar-e Hizballah organization, responsible for serious human rights abuses such as harassing and violently assaulting student protesters, throwing acid at women deemed inappropriately dressed and generally “creating a climate of fear.”

Three leaders of the Ansar-e Hizballah organization- Abdolhamid Mohtasham, Hossein Allahkaram and Hamid Ostad- are among the six Iranians on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s blacklist. 

Tehran’s Evin Prison, which houses most of Iran’s political prisoners, is the second entity facing US sanctions. According to the OFAC, prisoners there are subjected to brutality, sexual and physical assault and various forms of torture.

The remaining individuals named by the treasury are suspected of aiding the government of Iran in limiting the freedom of Iranian citizens and engaging in censorship.

“Iran not only exports terrorism and instability across the world, it routinely violates the rights of its own people.  The Iranian regime diverts national resources that should belong to the people to fund a massive and expensive censorship apparatus and suppress free speech,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said. “America stands with the people of Iran, and Treasury is taking action to hold the Iranian regime accountable for ongoing human rights abuses, censorship, and other despicable acts it commits against its own citizens.”