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Intel: US announces Iran, Syria sanctions ahead of democracy summit

The US Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Iranian and Syrian targets in the run-up to the administration’s virtual gathering of the world's democracies.
Gholamreza Soleimani, a senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who commands Basij forces, attends a gathering during Basij Week in Tehran Nov. 24, 2019.

The United States unveiled a tranche of sanctions on more than a dozen Syrian and Iranian officials and entities accused of serious human right abuses, the latest in what the administration has billed a “week of actions” ahead of its so-called Summit for Democracy.

The US Treasury Department said in a statement on Tuesday that it sanctioned several Iranians accused of involvement in violent crackdowns in Iran, including during the peaceful anti-government protests that erupted in November 2019 over gasoline price increases. The department designated the Special Units of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces, which handles crowd control and protest suppression, and several of the unit's officials for use of excessive and lethal force on unarmed civilian protesters. 

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