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US sanctions Iranian Guardian Council members, holds off on UN snapback penalties

The Trump administration is coming under pressure from anti-Iran deal advocates to find a way to trigger the "snapback" of UN sanctions this year.
Head of the Guardian Council Ahmad Jannati delivers a sermon during Tehran's Friday prayers August 21, 2009. Hardline Iranian cleric Jannati urged the judiciary on Friday to arrest the leaders of post-election unrest, in what appeared to be a reference to defeated moderate presidential candidates Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi.    REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN POLITICS RELIGION) - GM1E58L1HAE01

While announcing mostly symbolic sanctions today on members of Iran’s Guardian Council ahead of Friday's Iranian parliamentary elections, top US Iran envoy Brian Hook did not commit to whether Washington planned to trigger UN “snapback” sanctions on Iran later this year.

The sanctions announced today target five officials with the 12-member, hard-liner-dominated council responsible for vetting candidates in Iran’s parliamentary elections. The council has come under fire in recent months for disqualifying large numbers of Reformist candidates for Friday's vote; Hook said the council members “oversee a process that silences the voice of the Iranian people."

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