US Sanctions Iran’s Morality Police Amid Spiraling Protests
After nearly a week of demonstrations in multiple Iranian cities which Western media has dubbed the “anti-hijab” protests, the US on Thursday announced new sanctions against the Islamic Republic, this time targeting the country’s ‘morality police’ following the alleged killing last week of 22-year old Mahsa Amini.
“Mahsa Amini was a courageous woman whose death in Morality Police custody was yet another act of brutality by the Iranian regime’s security forces against its own people,” Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen said in unveiling the new move.
Yellen condemned “this unconscionable act” while urging Iranian officials end the crackdown on the ongoing protests for greater women’s rights. “Today’s action to sanction Iran’s Morality Police and senior Iranian security officials responsible for this oppression demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s clear commitment to stand up for human rights, and the rights of women, in Iran and globally,” she added.
Widespread protests erupted after Amini’s funeral on Saturday, and by Wednesday Iranian officials said the death toll from the sometimes violent protests had risen to at least seven, including one member of the security services. One external NGO named Iran Human Rights (IHR) has said as many as 31 civilians have been killed by Iranian security forces – but this isn’t independently verified.
The young woman from Iranian Kurdistan reportedly died due to being roughed up by police for “unsuitable attire” – or not conforming to Islamic Republic standards of a hijab. She was said to have fallen into a coma after being beaten in police custody.
Closing in on a week of protests, social media video shows things spiraling into increased violence, with Western pundits promoting this as a “revolution”…
Incredible video of protesters in #Iran destroying security vehicles. We’ve never seen these kinds of images in previous protests. The Iranian people’s quest for accountability remains the greatest fear of the mullahcracy of terror. #Mahsa_Amini pic.twitter.com/Clf4PNsVHL
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) September 21, 2022
Iranian authorities have denied the narrative, saying she suddenly suffered heart failure, as the BBC explains of Tehran’s version of events:
There were reports that police beat Ms Amini’s head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles, Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif said.
The police have denied that she was mistreated and said she suffered “sudden heart failure”. But her family has said she was fit and healthy.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also announced the fresh sanctions against the morality police, saying, “The Iranian government needs to end its systemic persecution of women and allow peaceful protest. The United States will continue to voice our support for human rights in Iran and hold those who violate them to account.”
An additional seven senior leaders of Iran’s foremost security organizations were also targeted in the new Treasury designation.
Thu, 09/22/2022 – 15:23