WASHINGTON: The US today designated two Iranian entities for allegedly committing serious human rights abuses on behalf of the Iranian government.
It also slapped sanctions against three leaders of one of these entities - the Ansar-e Hizballah organisation.
"Iran not only exports terrorism and instability across the world, it routinely violates the rights of its own people. The Iranian regime diverts national resources that should belong to the people to fund a massive and expensive censorship apparatus and suppress free speech, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
"Those who speak out against the regime's mismanagement and corruption are subject to abuse and mistreatment in Iran's prisons. America stands with the people of Iran, and treasury is taking action to hold the Iranian regime accountable for ongoing human rights abuses, censorship, and other despicable acts it commits against its own citizens," Mnuchin said.
Additionally, the treasury designated an entity that has operated information or communications technology that facilitates monitoring or tracking that could assist or enable serious human rights abuses by or on behalf of the government of Iran.
It also designated two individuals for engaging in censorship activities that prohibit, limit, or penalise the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by citizens of Iran, and one individual for acting for or on behalf of an entity engaged in such censorship activities.
These designations come in the wake of recent protests by the Iranian people and the regime's subsequent brutal crackdown.
The treasury said the latest actions target the Iranian regime's repression of its own people and the suppression of their freedoms of speech, expression, and peaceful assembly.
The US will not allow Iran's malign behaviour to go unchecked, it said adding that these actions show a desire to hold malicious actors accountable for their actions even as they try to hide from international scrutiny.
Those designated include Abdulali Ali-Asgari, Director General of Director of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Hanista Programming Group, the Evin Prison, and Ansar-e Hizballah and associated individuals.