Washington / Tehran, Nov 4: – The United States imposed sanctions on nine people with ties to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, including his chief of staff, one of his sons and the head of Iran’s judiciary.
The US Treasury Department also sanctioned Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff, on the 40th anniversary of the 1979 siege on the former US embassy in Tehran when angry students occupied the Mission’s compound and held 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days.
“Today the Treasury Department is targeting the unelected officials who surround Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and implement his destabilizing policies,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said 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,” Mnuchin added.
“The Trump Administration has made clear that the regime in Iran must release all missing and wrongfully detained Americans, including Robert Levinson, Xiyue Wang, Siamak Namazi, and others. We will not rest until they are reunited with their families,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement
On November 4, 1979, the embassy was taken over by hundreds of students nearly nine months after the Islamic Revolution dethroned the Pahlavi regime.
The students detained 66 embassy staff. But they released women, African-Americans and as well as a man who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis days later but kept the remaining 52 detainees for 444 days.
In Tehran, students joined a large gathering staged outside the former embassy building from early Monday morning.
The demonstrators chanted slogans against the US and Israel and set their flags on fire in condemnation of their policies.