Special Representative for Iran Elliott Abrams speaks during a news conference at the State Department, in Washington, March 31, 2020. (REUTERS)

September 24, 2020

The United States will slap new sanctions on a number of Iranian officials and entities, including a judge who sentenced Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari to death, U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams said on Thursday.

“The U.S. is committed to holding accountable those who deny freedom and justice to people of Iran and later today United States will announce sanctions on several Iranian officials and entities including the judge who sentenced Navid Afkari to death,” Abrams said during a hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Afkari was executed earlier this month after being convicted of stabbing a security guard to death during anti-government protests in 2018, Iranian state media reported. Iran’s Supreme Court rejected a review of the case in late August.

Afkari’s case had sparked an outcry from Iranians on social media and from international human rights groups. U.S. President Donald Trump also called on Iran this month not to execute the wrestler.

The athlete’s family has maintained that his conviction depended on a confession that was extracted through torture, which Afkari later recanted.

Earlier this week, the United States slapped new sanctions on Iran’s defense ministry and others involved in its nuclear and weapons program to support the U.S. assertion that all U.N. sanctions against Tehran are now restored, which key European allies as well as Russia and China reject.

Reuters

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.