New Executive Order Focuses on Human Rights Abuses by Iranian Officials

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 29, 2010

Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order that imposes sanctions on Iranian officials determined to be responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses involving Iran. In a press briefing with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about the new Executive Order. She said:

"...President Obama signed an Executive Order targeting eight Iranian officials responsible for serious and sustained human rights abuses since the disputed election of June 2009. On these officials' watch or under their command, Iranian citizens have been arbitrarily arrested, beaten, tortured, raped, blackmailed, and killed. Yet the Iranian Government has ignored repeated calls from the international community to end these abuses, to hold to account those responsible and respect the rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens. And Iran has failed to meet its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

"The steady deterioration in human rights conditions in Iran has obliged the United States to speak out time and time again. And today, we are announcing specific actions that correspond to our deep concern. The mounting evidence of repression against anyone who questions Iranian Government decisions or advocates for transparency or even attempts to defend political prisoners is very troubling.

"This week, Iranian authorities banned two reformist political parties and shut down two more newspapers. This follows a series of convictions and harsh sentences for a number of political prisoners. Two internationally recognized human rights defenders were sentenced to six-year prison terms. A student leader was given an eight and a half year sentence for insulting the president. Human rights lawyers, bloggers, journalists and activists for women's rights have all been jailed and many have fallen ill due to mistreatment in prison.

"Now, these actions obviously contradict recent claims made at the United Nations that Iranians enjoy the right of free expression and that no one is imprisoned for political reasons. In signing this Executive Order, the President sends the message that the United States stands up for the universal rights of all people. And as President Obama said at the United Nations last week, we will call out those who suppress ideas. We will serve as a voice for the voiceless. And we will hold abuse of governments and individuals accountable for their actions.

"This is the first time the United States has imposed sanctions against Iran based on human rights abuses. We would like to be able to tell you that it might be the last, but we fear not. We now have at our disposal a new tool that allows us to designate individual Iranians, officials responsible for or complicit in serious human rights violations, and do so in a way that does not in any way impact on the well-being of the Iranian people themselves.

"The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 permits us to impose financial sanctions and deny U.S. visas to specific Iranian officials where there is credible evidence against them. In doing so today, we declare our solidarity with their victims and with all Iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights and their dignity and their freedom. By doing so, we convey our strong support for the rule of law, and we speak out for those unable to speak for themselves because they are jailed or frightened or fear retribution against themselves or their families.

"Today, again, we call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran and around the world, and we call on the Iranian Government to take actions to end these abuses and respect the universal rights and freedoms of its own citizens."

Read the transcript of the briefing here. Learn more about the new Executive Order and see a list of the individuals identified for sanctions here.



New York, USA
September 29, 2010

Ron in New York writes:

IRAN + Human Rights = Oxymoron....

If we recall the Human Rights violations of Iraq, which were invoked by the Bush Administration just before US Invasion, I have that Yogi Berra Dejavue feeling all over again....why not just skip the exploitation of Human Rights and take out the nuclear sites already. That would be very effective diplomacy. Skip the invasion
and the costly occupation. approach

Sean H.
California, USA
September 29, 2010

Sean H. in California writes:

Thank you for your care and Support for the Iranian People and Human rights in Iran.

alireza l.
United Kingdom
September 30, 2010

Alireza L. in the United Kingdom writes:

We appreciate your support for Iranian who have been victims of this Terrorist Regime since 1979 and there will be a day that Americans and Iranian would be close to each other once this Terrorist Regime which is The Mother of Today's World Terrorism gone.

New York, USA
September 30, 2010

Monireh in New York writes:

Thank You Dear Mrs. Clinton! * Finally NEDA, SOHRAB and all the Young FREEDOM Loving Iranian MARTYRS who were KILLED by this Evil Islamic Regime will rest in peace. May God Bless You!

afshin j.
September 30, 2010

Afshin J. in Canada writes:

Thank you Mr. President, Thank you Madam Secretary of State;

This is one of the rare and unprecedented good news Iranian people needed to heard since last 31 years.

I am sure in due time, your administration will add name of other criminals to this very short list.

Certainly, this "Executive Order" will add another nail to the coffin of so called Islamic Republic. The World is a better place without this religious tyrannical, inhuman and savage regime.

Farahmand K.
Pennsylvania, USA
September 30, 2010

Farahmand M.K. in Pennsylvania writes:

Honorable Secretary of State; Mrs Hilary Clinton

I applaud your leadership and the president Obama's solidarity with the democratic movement in Iran. A sustained effort from your administration will eventually yield positive results for Iranian nation thus long term stability for the region.

michele b.
District Of Columbia, USA
September 30, 2010

Michele B. in Washington DC writes:

With such open knowledge of the sustained tyranny and abuse the Iranian people have been subjected to by their government, my only question is this: What took so long? How is this the first time sanctions have been placed on the Iranian Government for human rights violations?

Allowing this situation to have been ignored for so long is absolutely unacceptable on the part of our government. I applaud the administration for finally steeping up and speaking out, and by following it up with real, substantive action.

Sanctioning individuals, rather than the nation as a whole, was a smart choice as well. A general concern with sanctioning countries is that the sanctions will adversely affect the average citizen, but these sanctions were targeted in a much more specific, pointed way. The United States is showing its opposition to the actions of these individuals by shining a spotlight on their unacceptable, unlawful behavior. In doing so, the US is sending a strong message that such violations will no longer be tolerated, and is doing so without casting a blanket punishment on everyone else.

New Mexico, USA
September 30, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Dear Sec. Clinton,

Does this mean we'll deny visa to Aminidijad to speak at the UN next year?

Because unless you include him and the grand poobah who is dancing on the Rev. guard strings, these sanctions are only going after those who followed their orders.

Mmmm, do you think the ICC will indite? Who will serve the warrant?

In any case, this has been a long time coming, and is the right thing to do.

Someday when this abysmal regime falls, and mass graves uncovered, the true nature of this regime will be recorded in history as one of mankind's lessons in why tyrants can no longer be tolerated in power.

And when it comes to not wanting to harm the Iranian people via sanction, just remember that every day this regime is traded with by nations, or made excuse for in the UN, or otherwise afforded soverign right to nuclear power, or aided in any way in its continuance in power, is another day the nations of the world are acting in a criminally negligent manner and causing the Iranian people further suffering at the hands of their illegitimate government.

Feel free to level the playing field for thir hopes and dreams of freedom.

Feel free to engage in regime replacement therapy anytime now, the Iranian people will forgive the nessesary trespass to get that job done, to give them a future Iran worth living in. A nation they can be proud of for once.

Arming the taliban, and destabilizing nations has an inevitable solution that will be employed to halt such activity. It's not "if" but when we chose to stop it in its tracks.

Terrorism isn't like the common cold where you can only treat the symptoms with over the counter take the cure to the source and deal with the cancer itself.

The longer terrorists controls a nation and sits there in soverign "safe haven", the greater the misery produced for those seeking freedom and those whom we've liberated from opression already..

Want to make a human rights issue of it?

Great, then consider this as your administration's first baby steps in that process.

Keep up the good work,


Nasim A.
September 30, 2010

Nasim A.-A. in Canada writes:

Peace on the world.

John P.
September 30, 2010

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Nasim A.-A.
How old were you on Nov. 4, 1979? PEACE is what we all of us believe in. But, how can you have it, if you don’t win the “war” that Iranian “priests” started?

U.S. did not start the fire…
How can you keep on watching this crazy guy Aminidijad?
As you also do, I wish that we’ll have a diplomatic, peaceful end of the story. Otherwise, I fear that his regime will watch the end titles of the movie, unfortunately, without commercials…

@ Eric in New Mexico
Believe me or not, we had the same first thought. When I saw the guy on TV saying and making all these “silly’ things (I use “silly” as a diplomatic word for another word I have in mind), my first thought was: why do they offer him a Visa?

You know, first thought comes from the heart, the second one after re-thinking.
I do not know if you agree with me, but it’s not that simple to ban his entry to the U.N. –not the U.S.
Who would like to make him seem like a hero, while he’s a Hitler?

Cam B.
Oregon, USA
September 30, 2010

Cam N.T.B. in Oregon writes:

I think finally the White House's focus on individuals who do not respect their country man's rights to voice the direction their nation should take will be very effective because other countries will be more willing to be on board as it shows that the United States is in support for the people of Iran by not using a blanketing sanction.

Donald M.
Virginia, USA
September 30, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

The Leader of Iran needs to educate himself to better represent Iran. He is obviously attached to the conspiracy theory instead of finding out the truth about what happened on 9/11. Our Nation was attacked by terrorists. Evidence and an investigation revealed 19 hijackers had caused the destruction. The leader of Iran should release the American hostages, and send them home. Anytime a culture or religion embellishes in stoning people to death its so outdated like the dinasours or back to the stone age. Everyone in the world should be entitled to Humanity. I guess the point is, the United States should prepare for anything that Iran might try against our National Security. Maybe the Iran leader has been spending too much time with his goats. There is an old saying, "Treat people like you want to be treated" you don't treat human beings like animals. Human beings on earth are entitled to be respected as people. I think he needs to learn the most valuable lesson of life, one day he will stand in front of Judgement, and will his closet be clean or filled with Nuclear Weapons? It will take more than sanctions to get the point across.

October 1, 2010

Neda S. in Canada writes:

It was one of the best news I heard for a long time. I personally thank you. This is a huge victory for Iranian people. Would you also please pay attention to IRI seat in the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Considering their horrible history, they should be as far away from this committee as possilbe! "Be the voice for the voiceless" Thanks again.

Firuzeh M.
California, USA
October 1, 2010

Firuzeh M. in California writes:

Thank you for your strategic and effective support. This is the best way for the U.S. to support the civil rights movement inside Iran, by curbing their atrocities and making room for the leaders. Best for Iran, the region and the world. Thank you again. Now let's support other governments to do the same.

New Mexico, USA
October 1, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@John P. in Greece,

"And when it comes to not wanting to harm the Iranian people via sanction, just remember that every day this regime is traded with by nations, or made excuse for in the UN, or otherwise afforded soverign right to nuclear power, or aided in any way in its continuance in power, is another day the nations of the world are acting in a criminally negligent manner and causing the Iranian people further suffering at the hands of their illegitimate government."

Now if this thought that came to me is accepted as truth by nations, there will be no problem revoking the government of Iran's seat in the UNGA, or on any committee, for violations of its charter membership, and revoked by 2/3 majority vote in the UNGA itself.

Diplomatic isolation is perhaps (without hope of constructive dialogue), the last peaceful option left on the table to cause an Iranian re-think of the reality they are creating for trhemselves.

As host nation, denying visa to a head of state has international repurcussions I agree, but there's a way to do this right and instill dicipline and reform within the workings of the UN simultaneously.

Before this latest roll out of sanctions I went into some detail as to the parameters I saw in coming to such a decision, but you can't squeeze 31 years of reasons into 5000 characters or less.

So, I'm sure folks will find their own reasons if it is to happen.

Welcome back! Hope all is well with you.


yawar r.
October 4, 2010

Yawar G.R. in Germany writes:

Excellency Hillary Clinton we are very thankful.....
you have also make khamenei and his son and many other on this list......but the most of their assets are in europe specially in GB!!!

This regime must finally be isolated internationally at all levels. That the existing sanctions are not enough. The Iranian regime must be stoped all cash flows, and no official contact with Iran's representatives may be possible, without being confronted with the crimes of their regime against human rights and human dignity. If it is not her limit in decline even more unpredictable nascent destruction potential, it is the Middle East region - possibly the whole world - drifting to disaster.
Foreign Minister dear, why do you allow it to become that Ramsey Clark will meet with Ahmadinejat? why did it take this? A system that its internal critics to" enemies of God, "explained and be tortured for a systematic and executed by the hundreds, can condemn the women for adultery to death by stoning and homosexuals can be publicly hanged on construction cranes, can not only not a" normal "diplomatic his conversation partner, there can not be with him "apolitical" Economic and trade relations.

STOP the terrorists goverment in iran.......and if you really want peace in the middle east you have to overthrow the government in iran and the pepole in iran will be the best partner for usa for peace in the middle east.

Brian B.
October 5, 2010

Brian B. in Australia writes:

Many thanks, for supporting Iranian people for sanctioning these terrorist from Islamic Government of Iran. They do not represent Iranian people and are considered a bunch of low life criminals, which illegally has occupied the leadership position in Iran.

New Mexico, USA
October 6, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

News Item;

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Authorities in southwestern Afghanistan have seized 19 tons of explosive devices that had been transferred across the border from Iran, police said.

Nimruz Police Chief Abdul Jabar Purdel said a suspect was detained. Nimruz province, in Afghanistan's southwestern corner, borders Iran and Pakistan

The devices had been placed in 337 boxes inside a 40-foot shipping container transferred from Iran over a bridge linking Afghanistan and Iran, he said.

Earlier this year, a senior U.S. Defense Department official said that new U.S. military intelligence suggests Iran planned to smuggle new shipments of weapons into Afghanistan as part of an increased effort to interfere with coalition operations.

The information came from an "Iranian source" whose tips on past shipments have been verified by the United States, the official said in April.

The official also noted that Iran -- a majority Shiite country -- and the Sunni Taliban almost went to war with one another in the late 1990s, so it's not really in their interest to be a major source of top-shelf arms to the Taliban.

Tehran has consistently denied supporting groups opposed to the Afghan government. U.S. and coalition troops have found evidence of some Iranian weapons inside Afghanistan in seized caches or in the aftermath of attacks.


@State Dept.,

True to form, it only takes ethical infants about a week to prove the value of an assesment I post on this blog. Now do you folks @ State have any idea how sick and tired I've become in being proven right all the time by them so consistantly? I've been telling folks in this government about this activity since at least 2003-2004. Yet it continues...why? Innocent enough question...from a guy who wants results.

Well, folks got lucky on this and saved probably 2500-5000 lives intercepting so many "IED's" at once. Ask yourselves how many conex's full made it through prior?

So do we now charge the senders with attempted murder and serve a warrant or what? Another round of sanctions?

Face it, this is an act of war by proxi on the part of the Iranian leadership who is only interested in the wholesale slaughter of innocents and the failure of Afghanistan along with the failure of multinational and UN efforts to help Afghans build their nation in their own image.

My only suggestion is that you arte going to have to prove to the Iranian government why it "isn't in their interests" to engage in this activity.

It's often said that "no one likes suprises" so tell them they face open war with us now so when it comes to "a time of our choosing" no one will be suprised, or question why.

This is commercial grade sponsorship of terrorism, not some hodge podge outfit smuggling arms. The methodology proves that in the audacity and volume within a single shipment.

I think it gets to a point where the threat requires an unambiguous response, not some oblique insinuation of one on the kinetic level.

Tell the world that the next time this happens, the Iranian government will be driven out of power by whatever means deemed most expediant and cost effective, with the least harm possible done to the Iranian people in the process.

Fair warning given would be the best public response one could offer, and do back it up to the hilt please.



October 10, 2010

Erdogan in the Netherlands writes:

Will they also focus on the human rights abuses in Israel and Iraq and Afghanistan? Thousands of women are being raped by American savages right now, you won't hear this in western media. Millions have been killed. Do these people have any shame?


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