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Fact Sheet: New Executive Order Targeting Iranian Officials Responsible For Or Complicit In Serious Human Rights Abuses

(Archived Content)


Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order that imposes sanctions on Iranian officials determined to be responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses involving Iran. In signing today's Order, the President identified eight individuals for sanctions who share responsibility for the sustained and severe violation of human rights in Iran since the June 2009 disputed presidential election by listing them in the Annex to the Order.  

The Iranian individuals identified today are: Mohammad Ali Jafari, Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); Sadeq Mahsouli, current Minister of Welfare and Social Security and former Minister of the Interior; Qolam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, current Prosecutor General of Iran and former Minister of Intelligence; Saeed Mortazavi, former Prosecutor-General of Tehran; Heydar Moslehi, Minister of Intelligence; Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Minister of the Interior and  Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for Law Enforcement; Ahmad-Reza Radan, Deputy Chief of Iran's National Police; and Hossein Taeb, current Deputy IRGC Commander for Intelligence and former Commander of the IRGC's Basij Forces.

This Order provides the United States with new tools to target human rights abuses engaged in by officials of the Government of Iran. As a result of this action, any property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which the individuals listed in the Annex have an interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.   The individuals listed in the Annex to the Executive Order are also subject to visa sanctions.  

President Obama identified the following individuals for sanctions by listing them in the Annex to the Order:

  • Mohammad Ali Jafari is the Commander of the IRGC.   As commander of the IRGC, Jafari controlled the Basij Forces during the June 2009 election.   Forces under his command participated in beatings, murder, and arbitrary arrests and detentions of peaceful protestors.   
  • Sadeq Mahsouli is currently the Minister of Welfare and Social Security. He was Minister of the Interior at the time of the June 2009 election.   As Minister of the Interior, Mahsouli had authority over all police forces and Interior Ministry security agents.   His forces were responsible for attacks on the dormitories of Tehran University on June 15, 2009, during which students were severely beaten and detained.   Detained students were tortured and ill-treated in the basement of the Interior Ministry building; other protestors were severely abused at the Kahrizak Detention Center, which was operated by police under Mahsouli's control.
  • Qolam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei is currently the Prosecutor General of Iran.   As the Minister of Intelligence at the time of the June 2009 election, Mohseni-Ejei has confirmed that he authorized confrontations with protesters and their arrests during his tenure as Minister of Intelligence.   As a result, protesters were detained without formal charges brought against them and during this detention detainees were subjected to beatings, solitary confinement, and a denial of due process rights at the hands of intelligence officers under the direction of Mohseni-Ejei.   In addition, political figures were coerced into making false confessions under unbearable interrogations, which included torture, abuse, blackmail, and the threatening of family members.   
  • Saeed Mortazavi is the former Tehran Prosecutor-General.   As Prosecutor-General, he issued a blanket order used for the detention of hundreds of activists, journalists, and students, and was responsible for sending detainees to the Kahrizak Detention Center, where they were tortured and abused, resulting in several deaths.   He was suspended from office in August 2010 after an investigation by the Iranian judiciary of his role in the deaths of three men detained on his orders following the election.  
  • Heydar Moslehi has been the Minister of Intelligence since August 2009.   Under his leadership, the Ministry of Intelligence has continued the practices of widespread arbitrary detention and persecution of protestors and dissidents.   The Ministry of Intelligence continues to run Ward 209 of Evin Prison, where many activists are being held for their peaceful activities in opposition to the ruling government; interrogators from the Ministry of Intelligence have subjected prisoners in Ward 209 to beatings, mental abuse, and sexual abuse.   In recent months, prisoners in Ward 209 have reported forced confessions and interference by the Ministry of Intelligence in the judicial process; one detainee from the ward was executed after a forced confession and another was executed when torture failed to yield a confession.   As the Minister of Intelligence, Moslehi bears responsibility for the ongoing abuses.
  • Mostafa Mohammad Najjar was appointed the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces in charge of Police Forces in order to ensure order and security in November 2009.   He was in charge of the government response to protests on Ashura, one of the holiest days in Shia Islam, which in 2009 coincided with December 27, 2009.   State media reported 37 dead and hundreds arrested.   He is currently the Minister of Interior and, as such, has authority over all police forces, Interior Ministry security agents, and plainsclothes agents.
  • Ahmad-Reza Radan has been the Deputy Chief of Iran's National Police since 2008.   As Deputy Chief of National Police, Radan was responsible for beatings, murder, and arbitrary arrests and detentions against protestors that were committed by the police forces.   In addition, several detainees taken to Kahrizak Detention Center, the detention center where at least three protestors lost their lives after being subject to abuses, have alleged that Radan was present in Kahrizak and personally participated in the beatings and ill-treatment of detainees.   
  • Hossein Taeb is currently the Deputy IRGC Commander for Intelligence. As Commander of the paramilitary Basij Forces at the time of the June 2009 election, forces under Taeb's command participated in beatings, murder, and arbitrary arrests and detentions of peaceful protestors.

Identifying information   

Individual:                   Mohammad Ali Jafari

AKA:                           Ali Jafari

AKA:                          Mohammad Ali Ja'fari

AKA:                           Mohammad Ali Jafari-Najafabadi

AKA:                          Aziz Ja'fari

POB:                            Yazd, Iran

DOB:                          1 September 1957

Individual:                   Sadeq Mahsouli

AKA:                            Sadeq Mahsuli

POB:                            Orumieh, Iran

DOB:                            1959

Individual:                   Qolam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei

AKA:                          Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei

POB:                            Ejiyeh, Iran

DOB:                           c. 1956

Individual:                   Saeed Mortazavi

AKA:                           Sa'id Mortazavi

POB:                            Meibod, Yazd, Iran

DOB:                           1967

Individual:                   Heydar Moslehi

AKA:                           Heidar Moslehi

POB:                            Isfahan, Iran

DOB:                           1956

Individual:                   Mostafa Mohammad Najjar

POB:                            Tehran, Iran

DOB:                            1956

Individual:                   Ahmad-Reza Radan

POB:                            Isfahan, Iran

DOB:                           1963

Alt DOB:                     1964

Individual:                   Hossein Taeb

AKA:                           Hosein Taeb

AKA:                           Hussayn Taeb

AKA:                           Hassan Taeb

POB:                            Tehran, Iran

DOB:                           1963