U.S. sanctions Iranian military chief’s brother over human rights violation

Sohrab Soleimani

Tehran Prisons Organization and Sohrab Soleimani were added to the U.S. Treasury Department’s list of officials and organizations involved in human rights abuses in Iran.

The White House spokesman announced Thursday that the U.S, added Sohrab Soleymani, the brother of an Iranian military chief to its sanction list for his involvement in serious human rights abuses. Qassem Soleimani is the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds force.

Sohrab used to be the director general of the Tehran Prisons Organization for 15 years and since last June he has been appointed as the supervisor of the Office Prisons Organization Security and Law Enforcement Office Deputy.

The sanctions do not conflict with U.S. obligations under the Iran nuclear deal and are not being leveled as part of that agreement, according to U.S. officials.

“We continue to see Government of Iran officials engage in repressive behavior against its own citizens, including through their mistreatment and abuse of prisoners,” the State Department explained in a background document provided to reporters. “This is especially evident at Evin Prison, which is where numerous prisoners of conscience are held. We have documented these and many other human rights abuses perpetrated by the government of Iran in our annual State Department authored Human Rights, Religious Freedom, and Trafficking in persons reports.”

After the nuclear agreements the US canceled decade-old sanctions against Iran while renewing human rights and missile-related sanctions.

It is worth noting the EU has renewed its human rights sanctions on Iran until 13 April 2018.  The sanctions currently impose a travel ban and asset freeze on 82 individuals and one entity, as well as a ban on exports to Iran of equipment which can be used for internal repression or to monitor telecommunications.

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