Asia Politics

US sanctions 9 people with ties to Iran's top leader

Key Points
  • The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned nine people with ties to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
  • Those targeted by the U.S. sanctions include Khamenei's chief of staff Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani as well as Vahid Haghanian, who the department said "has been referred to as the supreme leader's right hand."
  • U.S. sanctions block any U.S.-controlled property or interests held by those targeted, and prohibit anyone or any entities in the United States from dealing with those sanctioned.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei makes a speech regarding Trump's withdrawal decision from Iran nuclear deal during a press conference in Tehran, Iran on May 09, 2018.
Iranian Leader's Press Office | Handout | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The United States imposed sanctions on nine people with ties to Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, including his chief of staff, one of his sons and the head of Iran's judiciary, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Monday.

The United States also sanctioned Iran's Armed Forces General Staff, the department said in the statement, which came 40 years after Iran seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking more than 50 Americans hostage.

"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.

Those targeted by the U.S. sanctions include Khamenei's chief of staff Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani as well as Vahid Haghanian, who the department said "has been referred to as the supreme leader's right hand."

Ebrahim Raisi, who Khamenei appointed in March 2019 to lead Iran's judiciary, and Mojtaba Khamenei, Ali Khamenei's second son, were also sanctioned, Treasury said.

U.S. sanctions block any U.S.-controlled property or interests held by those targeted and prohibit anyone or any entities in the United States from dealing with those sanctioned.

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Key Points
  • Trade wars, oil price volatility, the risk of a disorderly Brexit and rising social unrest — and in the short term, a massive economic contraction in Iran — are shaping the Middle East's economic outlook, the IMF says.
  • Iran is projected to have a growth contraction of 9.5% this year.
  • High debt, low employment and inadequate governance across the region are contributing to rising social unrest.