January 12, 2018 / 6:42 PM / 3 months ago

U.S. sanctions head of Iran's judiciary, others, over human rights abuses

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States imposed sanctions on 14 individuals and entities on Friday for human rights abuses in Iran and supporting Iranian weapons programs, including the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.

FILE PHOTO - Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani attends Iran's Assembly of Experts' biannual meeting in Tehran March 6, 2012. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that Larijani, a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is “responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in Iran or Iranian citizens or residents.”

A Chinese national was sanctioned for acting on behalf of Wuhan Sanjiang Import and Export Co LTD, which is already under sanctions for doing business with an Iranian firm “owned or controlled” by the military.

Other sanctioned entities included another China-based company, Bochuang Ceramic Corp, and the Iranian firm it sought to supply with a chemical compound used in the transmission of electrical signals.

Reporting by Justin Mitchell

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