Fresh US sanctions target Iranian supreme leader Khamenei’s inner circle

A picture released by the office of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on March 20, 2014, shows him addressing the nation on the occasion of Noruz, the Iranian New Year, in Tehran. Noruz is an ancient Zoroastrian feast which starts on March 21, the first day of spring, and which is calculated according to a solar calendar, this year marking 1393. AFP PHOTO/HO/IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER’S WEBSITE == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER’S WEBSITE” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==

WASHINGTON (Rahnuma) : The United States imposed sanctions on nine people with ties to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, including his chief of staff, one of his sons and the head of Iran’s judiciary, the US Treasury Department said Monday.

The US also sanctioned Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff, the department said in the statement, which came 40 years after Iran seized the US embassy in Tehran, taking more than 50 Americans hostage.

“Today the Treasury Department is targeting the unelected officials who surround Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and implement his destabilizing policies,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

“These individuals are linked to a wide range of malign behaviors by the regime, including bombings of the US Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in 1994, as well as torture, extrajudicial killings, and repression of civilians,” Mnuchin added.

Those targeted by the US sanctions include Khamenei’s chief of staff Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani as well as Vahid Haghanian, who the department said “has been referred to as the Supreme Leader’s right hand.”

Ebrahim Raisi, who Khamenei appointed in March 2019 to lead Iran’s judiciary, and Mojtaba Khamenei, Khamenei’s second son, were also sanctioned, Treasury said.

US sanctions block any US-controlled property or interests held by those targeted, and prohibit anyone or any entities in the United States from dealing with those sanctioned.

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