The US Treasury said in a statement the Iranian Interior Minister, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, gave orders to the Iranian Law Enforcement Force (LEF) to use deadly force in response to anti-government protests in November. The move led to the killing of demonstrators, including at least 23 minors.
The US Treasury also blacklisted seven LEF senior officials, including commander Hossein Ashtari Fard, and a provincial commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, for their role in the suppression of protesters.
The LEF Collaboration Foundation – which according to the Ministry of Finance is controlled by LEF and is active in Iran's energy, construction, service, technology and banking industries – has also been blacklisted, as have its directors and supervisory board members.
Washington also barred Rahmani Fazli and Ali Fallahian, head of Iran's intelligence service from 1989 to 1997, from traveling to the United States. The State Department said Fallahian was involved in killings and attacks throughout the world.
"The United States will continue to hold Iranian officials and institutions accountable for oppressing and abusing their own people," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement quoted from Reuters, Thursday (05/21/2020).
The US Treasury will freeze all blacklisted assets in the US and generally forbid Americans from dealing with them.
"The aim – and the regime – is to quell this peaceful protest and suppress the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression at any cost," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a separate statement.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have surged since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and began re-implementing sanctions that were eased under the agreement.