US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday announced the blacklisting of two Iranian officials for their alleged role in rights violations.

In a statement, Blinken said he designated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) interrogators Ali Hemmatian and Masoud Safdari “for their involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely the torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment (CIDTP) of political prisoners and persons detained during protests in 2019 and 2020 in Iran.”

Blinken said the US will continue to consider all appropriate tools to impose costs on those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Iran.

The designated individuals and family members are ineligible for entry into the US.

“We will also work with our allies to promote accountability for such violations and abuses,” said Blinken.

At his briefing, State Department spokesman Ned Price defended the designations, citing that the US acts in accordance with its values.

“It is consistent with our values to make clear that there will be consequences for the sort of gross violations of human rights that these individuals engaged,” he said.

Relations between Tehran and Washington has been tense since former President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a nuclear accord in 2018, reinstated economic penalties and added new ones amid mounting tensions between the rivals.

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