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World

Agencies
November 5, 2019

US slaps sanctions as Iran marks 1979 embassy siege

World

Agencies
Tue, Nov 05, 2019

WASHINGTON: Still-raw tensions flared anew Monday as 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, according to the US Treasury Department.

Iran's Armed Forces General Staff was also sanctioned, said the department  in the statement which came 40 years after Iran seized the US embassy in Teheran, 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 destabilising policies," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Separately, the US State Department announced a new reward up to US$20 million for information that leads to the location, recovery and return of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who was last seen in Iran.

The sanctions are designed to impose more limits on Khamenei's inner circle, an administration official said.

Four decades to the day after revolutionary students raided the embassy and seized dozens of US diplomats and security staff, demonstrators in Tehran and several other cities shouted anti-American slogans and flaunted effigies mocking President Donald Trump.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed to the embassy siege as the United States announced sanctions against nine aides to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran´s supreme leader under the Islamic republic established by the revolution.

Those targeted by the US 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."