The U.S. is sanctioning six senior employees of an Iranian state-run media corporation for their alleged complicity in Tehran’s “mass suppression and censorship” of its people amid a crackdown on protesters.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said Wednesday it was sanctioning six senior employees of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which Washington previously designated for sanctions in 2013.
The Treasury said IRIB has broadcast hundreds of forced confessions of Iranian, dual national and international detainees in Iran. The IRIB and its subsidiaries, the Treasury said, “act not as objective media outlets but rather as a critical tool in the Iranian government’s mass suppression and censorship campaign against its own people.”
The Treasury said the IRIB has produced and broadcast televised interviews of individuals being forced to confess that their relatives were not killed by Iranian authorities during nationwide protests but died “due to accidental, unrelated causes.”
“The Iranian government’s systemic reliance on forced confessions illustrates the government’s refusal to speak truth to its citizens and the international community,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement. “The United States remains committed to supporting the Iranian people as they continue their peaceful protests. We will continue to hold Iranian officials and government institutions accountable for their human rights violations and their censorship of the Iranian people.”