RFL/RE – A senior U.S. administration official says the United States is considering imposing new sanctions on Iran over its crackdown on antigovernment protests, which have led to clashes between demonstrators and security forces and left at least 22 people dead.
The French AFP news agency quoted an unnamed senior U.S. administration official on January 3 as saying, “We are looking across the board.”
“That requires information, but there is a lot of information out there, so we intend to start assembling that and see what we can do.”
The official said the United States would “use all the information sources at our disposal to be able to get actionable information about who is doing the crackdown, who is violating human rights, who is using violence against protesters, and to feed that in to our sanctions designation machinery.”
Antigovernment protests have led to unrest and clashes since beginning on December 28 in the country’s second-largest city, Mashhad, initially over complaints of rising costs. Meanwhile, thousands of people also have begun rallying in support of Tehran’s government in many cities.
In an unconfirmed report, the semiofficial Mehr news agency said three members of Iran’s intelligence forces had been killed in clashes in the western city of Piranshahr.
The Mehr report cited a statement by Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which said the three died “in a fight with antirevolutionary elements” without providing further detail.