The Trump administration issued new sanctions on Friday against a top Iranian general who oversaw the killing of nearly 150 Iranian anti-regime protesters, according to U.S. officials.
The State Department applied new economic sanctions on Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) brigadier general Hassan Shahvarpour for overseeing a recent assault on Iranian demonstrators who have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest the regime's downing of a Ukrainian civilian airliner.
The sanctions on Shahvarpour were issued as a result of the State Department's Iran tip line, which has empowered Iranian citizens to document the regime's human rights abuses and send on-the-ground testimonials directly to the Trump administration via a secure channel. More than 88,000 videos, pictures, and testimonials have been sent to the State Department since it established the network late last year.
"General Shahvarpour committed gross violations of human rights against protesters in Mahshahr," Trump administration Iran envoy Brian Hook announced to reporters. "He oversaw the massacre of 148 helpless Iranians in the Mahshahr region last November."
"Shahvarpour was in command of units responsible for the violent crackdown and lethal repression around Mahshahr," Hook disclosed. "This is the first designation on an Iranian regime official being taken under" new State Department sanctions authorities.
The Iran tip line played an instrumental role in exposing Shahvarpour's crimes, Hook said.
"This action taken today was made possible through the information we received on the tip line that the secretary established," he said. "We use this information to expose the criminality of the regime and to hold violators accountable. Since the violent crackdown on protests last November, the United States has sanctioned two judges and eight other regime officials for their roles in brutalizing the Iranian people. We are continuing to review all information we receive from the Iranian people, and we will continue to hold more regime officials responsible for human rights violations."
Hook also said that a host of new sanctions issued during the past year on Iran have decimated the country's economy and contributed to the popular anti-regime demonstrations currently taking place.
The imposition of oil sanctions alone has deprived the Iranian regime of around $50 billion annually. Another $200 billion has been lost due to a host of other economic sanctions, according to Hook.
"The sanctions we have imposed are the toughest ever," Hook said. "They are making an enormous difference, and the Iranian people are rightly blaming their own government for 40 years of corruption, mismanagement, and kleptocracy."
Hook vowed the Trump administration would continue strangling the country's economy until it abandons its pursuit of nuclear weapons and support for regional terror organizations.
"Yesterday, [Iranian] president Rouhani made veiled threats against European troops," he said. "Today, the supreme leader [Ayatollah] Khamenei, lashed out against Europe for standing up to Iran's nuclear blackmail. As long as the regime threatens the world, it will become further isolated. Until Iran behaves like a normal nation, its isolation will only deepen."