US sanctions against Iran’s morality police

Yesterday, Washington announced the imposition of economic sanctions on the Iranian morality police and several security officials for their “violence against demonstrators”, as well as against the background of the death of the young woman, Mahsa Amini, after her arrest.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement that the sanctions target “the Iranian morality police and senior Iranian security officials responsible for this crackdown” and “demonstrate the Biden-Harris administration’s clear commitment to defending human and women’s rights in Iran and the world.”

The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control indicated that “the ethics police are responsible for the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested and detained for wearing indecent clothing.” Amini hails from a province in northwestern Iran, and was arrested by the “morality police” on September 13 in Tehran for wearing indecent clothing.

Amini died in hospital on September 16. Activists say she died from a blow to the head, which Iranian officials denied and announced an investigation. On the other hand, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards called on the country’s judicial authority, yesterday, to prosecute those who spread what it described as “false news and rumors” about the incident, which sparked widespread protests across the country.

Protesters in Tehran and several Iranian cities set fire to two police stations and vehicles, earlier yesterday, with unrest continuing for the sixth day, while there were reports of attacks on security forces.

In a statement, the Revolutionary Guard expressed its sympathy with Amini’s family and their relatives.

“We asked the judiciary to identify those who spread false news and rumors on social media, as well as in the street, and who endanger the psychological safety of society, and to deal with them firmly,” he said.

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