US places Iranian officials on blacklist

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The Obama administration has placed eight Iranian officials on a financial blacklist over their alleged roles in human rights violations after Iran's disputed June 2009 presidential election.

The Treasury and State departments announced that the sanctions, signed by President Barack Obama, target Iranians who "share responsibility for the sustained and severe violation of human rights in Iran".

The order blocks any US assets of the eight Iranians and prohibits Americans from doing business with them. Among those named is Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The administration said that forces under General Jafari's command participated in beatings, murder and arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters in the aftermath of the election.

Also named was Sadeq Mahsouli, currently Iran's Minister of Welfare and Social Security. He was minister of the interior at the time of the June 2009 election, and in that role had authority over all police forces and Interior Ministry security agents, the administration's announcement said.

"His forces were responsible for attacks on the dormitories of Tehran University on 15 June 2009, during which students were severely beaten and detained," the Treasury and State departments said.