Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has denounced the recent violent crackdow n by Iranian authorities against widespread protests.
In a speech at the State Department on Thursday, condemned the Islamic Republic of Iran for its human rights violations, calling on the regime to treat the “open-minded, entrepreneurial, and amazing” Iranian people with basic dignity.
“Fulfill the first duty of any government. Treat your people with the dignity to which every member of the family of mankind is entitled,” he said. “Uphold your commitments under your own constitution, and international law. Act like a normal country. Unleash your people’s vast potential.
“We urge these things out of principle, but also as a message of common sense to the regime. True prosperity and stability will never come to Iran while you terrorize and jail your people.”
Pompeo said he had redesignated Iran as a "country of particular concern" for religious freedom, a status that adds a layer of potential sanctions against the government. He also said the administration would enact travel bans on officials found to have violated human rights, as well as their families.
"The United States has stood, and will stand under President [Donald] Trump, for the Iranian people," Pompeo said. "The appeasement of the regime simply will not work."
In addition, sanctions were announced by the Treasury Department on two top Iranian judges, Abolghassem Salavati and Mohammad Moghisseh, freezing any assets they may have in U.S. jurisdictions and barring Americans from any transactions with the judges The sanctions will also affect foreigners doing business with the judges, who sit at the top of two branches of the Tehran Revolutionary Court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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