In an speech in Washington U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today told Iranians, “America hears you, America supports you, America stands with you. We do so for the sake of freedom, for the sake of human dignity, for the sake of respect”.
At the same time, U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against two notorious Iranian judges for perversion of justice, violation of the rights of Iranian citizens as well as their role in sentencing American citizens.
Speaking at a symposium at the State Department dedicated to examining Iran’s human rights violations, Pompeo denounced the violent crackdown against protesters in Iran, and he announced visa restrictions for the family members of Iranian officials involved in suppression of peaceful protests.
The protests “signaled the Iranian people just had enough. They’re fed up. They’re fed up with regime’s economic failures, they’re fed up with the regime that denies them basic fundamental human dignity,” Pompeo said while calling the Iranian regime an “outlaw in the eyes of the world”.
“The Ayatollah and his band of thugs” are going to have to change, Pompeo said and admonished the Iranian regime for its “towering hypocrisy” in ignoring the rights and freedoms guaranteed by its own Constitution including freedom of religious and ethnic minorities.
He criticized the Obama administration for failing to offer support to the people of Iran against the regime. “In 2009 when the opportunity arose, America did no do that,” he said”.
The U.S. Secretary of State declared that the “the appeasement of the regime simply will not work” and added that the U.S. under President Donald Trump has taken a completely different approach and will stand with the Iranian people.
Pompeo said the Trump administration of has adopted “serious, thoughtful measures” against the Iranian regime. As a message of common sense” the U.S. is re-designating Iran as a country of particular concern under the international religious freedom act, he said.
He announced sanctions on two Iranian judges, namely Mohammad Moghisseh and Abolghasem Salavati for miscarriage of justice in the show trials of the regime and sentencing journalists, lawyers, political activists and members of ethnic and religious minorities to long prison terms, lashes and even capital punishment.
The third measure against Iran announced by Pompeo today was introduction of visa restrictions for the family members of the current or former regime officials involved in the crackdown on the recent protests, under the Immigration Nationality Act.
These visa restrictions will affect the family members of those who are “complicit in the abuse, detention or killing of peaceful protesters or for inhibiting their rights for freedom of expression or assembly,” the U.S. Secretary of State announced in his speech today.
“Thugs killing people’s children will not be allowed to send their own children to study in the United States,” he said.
According to human rights watchdog Amnesty International, Iranian security forces killed at least 304 protesters including 18 children. Iranian officials have not revealed the death tolls of the protests despite calls by international bodies including the UN, European Parliament and Amnesty International.