US hits Iran general with sanctions over protest crackdown

Politics
Abraham Cooper, Marvin Hier, Brian Hook

Brian Hook, a U.S. special representative on Iran, takes questions from the media at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Hook briefed earlier Simon Wiesenthal Center leadership, national interfaith and local Iranian leaders in a closed door meeting on policy related to Iran. Rabbi Abraham Cooper Associate Dean, Director Global Social Action Agenda, left, and Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder, CEO and president of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and its Museum of Tolerance. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday imposed sanctions on a senior Iranian general for his role in a brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters as it ramps up its maximum pressure campaign on the Islamic Republic.

The State Department said it imposed penalties on Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Hassan Shahvarpour for directing a massacre of nearly 150 demonstrators in southwestern Iran in November.

“General Shahvarpour was in command of units responsible for the violent crackdown and lethal repression around Mahshahr,” U.S. special envoy for Iran Brian Hook said. He said the designation was the result of photographic and video tips submitted to the department by Iranians.

The department has received more than 88,000 such tips since it appealed for Iranians to report evidence of repression and gross human rights abuses, Hook said.

Iran has denied U.S. allegations of widespread repression but has acknowledged confronting separatists in Mahshahr that it said were armed.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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