Salar Abnoush is the deputy commander of the Basij and has publicly described his command-and-control role over Basij forces during the November 2019 protests. The Basij have been linked to the killing of unarmed protestors on numerous occasions.
Iran’s Morality Police is the component of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) tasked with enforcing the country’s laws against immodesty and societal vices. The LEF, the Iranian government’s main security apparatus dedicated to crowd control and protest suppression, played a key role in the crackdown on protesters in the aftermath of the disputed Iranian presidential election in 2009 and has been called upon to respond to multiple nationwide protests since then, including the November 2019 protests over gasoline price increases during which Iranian security forces killed at least hundreds of Iranian protestors. Treasury designated the LEF pursuant to E.O. 13553 on June 9, 2011, for its role in the 2009 post-election crackdown.
On September 14, 2022, the LEF’s Morality Police arrested 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for purportedly wearing a hijab improperly and sent her to an “educational and orientation” class at police headquarters. She was transferred to a hospital that same day in a coma and died two days later from internal injuries. Eyewitnesses claim that Amini died due to injuries sustained while in Morality Police custody. Mahsa’s father told the press that authorities covered bruises on her body in the hospital and refused to let the family see them. LEF authorities have blamed her death on a heart ailment, but her family said she had no such condition. Iran’s Morality Police are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13553 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Iran’s LEF.
OFAC is also targeting seven senior leaders of Iran’s security organizations: the Morality Police, Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), the Army’s Ground Forces, Basij Resistance Forces, and Law Enforcement Forces. These officials oversee organizations that routinely employ violence to suppress peaceful protesters and members of Iranian civil society, political dissidents, women’s rights activists, and members of the Iranian Baha’i community.
“Mahsa Amini was a courageous woman whose death in Morality Police custody was yet another act of brutality by the Iranian regime’s security forces against its own people,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “We condemn this unconscionable act in the strongest terms and call on the Iranian government to end its violence against women and its ongoing violent crackdown on free expression and assembly. Today’s action to sanction Iran’s Morality Police and senior Iranian security officials responsible for this oppression demonstrates the Biden – Harris Administration’s clear commitment to stand up for human rights, and the rights of women, in Iran and globally.”
Also Known As:
02 May 1962
Reason for the color:
» Added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on September 22, 2022 pursuant to Executive Order 13553 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Iran’s LEF;