U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Two Iranian Judges for ‘Oppression’

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – The United States has imposed sanctions on two Iranian judges whom it accuses of having punished Iranian citizens and dual nationals for exercising their freedoms of speech and assembly, the U.S. Treasury said on Thursday.

The judges, Abolghassem Salavati and Mohammad Moghisseh, “oversaw the Iranian regime’s miscarriage of justice in show trials in which journalists, attorneys, political activists, and members of Iran‘s ethnic and religious minority groups were penalized for exercising their freedom of expression and assembly and sentenced to lengthy prison terms, lashes, and even execution,” the Treasury said in a statement.

The sanctions would freeze all property of the two men under U.S. jurisdiction and generally bar U.S. persons from dealing with them.

In addition, foreign banks that knowingly helped the men carry out significant transactions and persons who provided certain support to them could lose access to the U.S. financial system or see their property under U.S. jurisdiction frozen.

“The United States will not be a bystander to ongoing oppression and injustice in Iran,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

“This administration is targeting those in the regime who seek to censor protesters, persecute religious minorities, and silence the Iranian people.”

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Susan Heavey Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Macfie)