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U.S. slaps new sanctions on Iran

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The U.S. government has imposed new sanctions against Iran
  • The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Basij Resistance Force, and Iran's Law Enforcement Forces are targeted
  • Secretary of State Clinton says officials responsible for Iran's crackdown on protesters must be held accountable
  • Washington has also imposed sanctions against Iran to stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons

Washington (CNN) -- The U.S. government announced Thursday that it has imposed a new round of sanctions against Iran's regime, which has come under intense criticism for its recent crackdown against pro-reform protesters.

Sanctions have been imposed against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Basij Resistance Force, and Iran's Law Enforcement Forces, according to a statement released by the State Department.

A specific individual -- Law Enforcement Commander Ismail Ahmadi Moghadam -- has also been targeted by the sanctions.

"While Iran's leaders hypocritically applaud protesters abroad calling for self-determination, many of Iran's own citizens -- including founding members of the revolution -- are being held as political prisoners merely for holding views contrary to Iran's leaders," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

"Iranians are being executed for crimes based on dubious charges and without the due process guaranteed under Iran's constitution."

Clinton said that the "United States stands with all Iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights, their dignity and their freedom."

"We call on the Iranian government to end its systematic human rights abuses and political hypocrisy," she added. "Today's sanctions reflect our commitment to hold accountable those governments and officials that violate human rights and deprive their citizens of the opportunities and future they deserve."

Relations between the United States and Iran -- chilly since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution -- have been further strained in the wake of Iran's controversial 2009 presidential election. The reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad angered supporters of Iran's opposition movement and sparked massive protests that were followed by a government crackdown.

Washington has also imposed numerous other sanctions against Tehran in part to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In May, the Obama administration imposed sanctions against seven companies for working with Iran in the energy sector -- part of the effort to suppress Tehran's nuclear program.