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US sanctions top Khamenei officials on 40th year of Iran hostage crisis

Additionally, the U.S. State Department announced a $20 million reward for information about the whereabouts of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in 2007 while visiting Iran.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The United States on Monday announced that it has sanctioned nine officials tied to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was sanctioned by the Trump administration in June.

“The Treasury Department is targeting the unelected officials who surround Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and implement his destabilizing policies,” said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.

“These individuals are linked to a wide range of malign behaviors by the regime, including bombings of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in 1994, as well as torture, extrajudicial killings and repression of civilians. This action further constricts the Supreme Leader’s ability to execute his agenda of terror and oppression,” he continued.

Those sanctioned include Iranian Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi; Mojtaba Khamenei, the ayatollah’s second son; Mohammad Golpayegani, Khamenei’s chief of staff; Vahid Haghanian, known as Khamenei’s right-hand man; Ali Velayati, a senior advisor to the ayatollah; Gholam-Ali Hadad-Adel, father-in-law of Mojtaba Khamenei, a member of the Expediency Council and also an adviser to Ali Khamenei; Mohammad Bagheri, Iran’s Armed Forces’ general staff; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan; and IRGC Cmdr. Gholam Ali Rashid.

Additionally, the U.S. State Department announced a $20 million reward for information about the whereabouts of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in 2007 while visiting Iran.

The announcements come as the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis was marked on Nov. 4.

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