(July 4, 2011)
Iran’s Parliament is reviewing a plan to prosecute 26 U.S. officials in absentia in order to later refer them to “competent” international tribunals, the deputy head of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission announced today.
Esmail Kosari added that the Islamic Republic will vigorously pursue these prosecutions in defence of the rights of the “oppressed people of the world.”
Iran had previously accused the 26 U.S. officials of “human rights violations” in what appears to be a tit-for-tat response to U.S. sanctions recently imposed on Iranian officials.
Among the 26 U.S. officials to be blacklisted by Iran: former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld; Paul Bremer, the U.S. civilian administrator who oversaw Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s removal; General Tommy Franks, the head of U.S. Central Command during the Iraq invasion of Iraq; as well as the current and former commanders of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
A spokesman for the Iranian Parliament had announced earlier that some of the U.S. officials are being charged with taking a “direct role in crimes against humanity” while others face “drug charges.”
Kazem Jalali added that this is just a preliminary list and others will follow.
The Iranian officials targeted by the U.S. include judicial figures, such as the former and current Tehran Prosecutors, as well as several security, Basij and Revolutionary Guards commanders.
Most recently, the head of Iranian security forces and his deputy, Brigadier Generals Ahmadi Moghaddam and Ahmadreza Radan, were sanctioned by the U.S. for allegedly assisting the Syrian government in cracking down on protesters in that country. The U.S. Treasury contends that Radan travelled to Syria in April to offer expert advice on crushing protests.
The U.S. has also blacklisted the overseas branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps for its alleged involvement in the Syrian crackdown.
Iran says all the U.S. charges are baseless.