Ali Rezvani (Rezvani) and Ameneh Sadat Zabihpour (Zabihpour) are IRIB “interrogator-journalists” who are both being designated pursuant to E.O. 13846 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, IRIB, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13628, which was revoked and superseded by E.O. 13846. Furthermore, both have cooperated with the MOIS and the IRGC Intelligence Organization in extracting and airing forced confessions in the style of documentaries. Both feature prominently in the IRIB’s notorious 8:30 broadcast, which regularly airs forced confessions. In an IRIB segment in 2020, Rezvani interviewed Ruhollah Zam, an Iranian journalist who was kidnapped, brought to Iran, and later executed by the Government of Iran. Rezvani has also been implicated in the harassment of the family of an Iranian-American activist and was named as an interrogator in the case of Kavous Seyed-Emami, an academic and environmentalist who died suspiciously in February 2018 while in government custody.
As the Government of Iran’s state-run media conglomerate, IRIB has a monopoly on television and radio services in Iran and plays a central role in restricting the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and impeding the free flow of information in Iran through censorship activities. IRIB produces, sponsors, and spreads government propaganda both in Iran and internationally.
Furthermore, IRIB broadcasts regularly make false and baseless accusations against Iranian citizens, dual nationals, and foreigners, and use falsified news to misinform and falsely incriminate perceived enemies of the regime. IRIB also cooperates extensively with security and intelligence agencies, including Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), to obtain and publicly disseminate forced confessions from Iranians, dual nationals, and foreign detainees. Testimonies and other evidence point to the use of torture, both physical and psychological; threats against family members; and degrading treatment to extract forced confessions. Since 2009, IRIB programs have broadcast hundreds of forced confessions as well as defamatory content against hundreds more. IRIB uses forced confessions in particular to frame dual nationals and foreigners as spies, demonize human rights activists, and legitimize repression against religious minority groups like the Baha’i community.
Positions and Violations:
– IRIB Reporter on Political and Security Affairs, Tehran (2006 – present)
– Human Rights Violation: Interrogating Maryam Mombini and attempting to extract forced confessions ( 25 June 2018)
– Human Rights Violation: Producing and broadcasting forced confessions of the family of Masih Alinejad (28 July 2018)
– Human Rights Violation: Producing and broadcasting forced confessions of Ruhollah Zam (10 July 2020)
In a joint letter to the European Union Council on 30 January 2020, 13 international and Iranian human rights organisations have requested the sanctioning of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcast (IRIB), and seven officials responsible for the broadcast of forced confessions extracted from political prisoners on the 20:30 news bulletin, including Ali Rezvani . In this letter the signatories write: “We, the undersigned of this joint letter, remain gravely concerned about the ongoing and systematic use of televised confessions obtained under torture and ill-treatment in Iran.”
19 Dec 1984
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 November 16, 2022 pursuant to Executive Order 13846 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, IRIB, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13628, which was revoked and superseded by E.O. 13846;