Rogue Regimes

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner specifically named eight high-ranked individuals, who belong to the inner circle of the regime in Iran, as responsible for human right violations such as beatings, killings and torture. They are now barred from entering the United States and their assets there are frozen.

The eight villains are:

Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps;

Sadeq Mahsouli, Minister of Welfare and Security;

Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, Prosecutor-General; 

Saeed Mortazavi, a Presidential aide;

Heydar Moslehi, Minister of Intelligence;

Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Minister of Interior;

Ahmad-Reza Radan, deputy chief of Iran’s National Police; and

Hossein Taeb, former commander of the Basij and current deputy commander for Intelligence for the Revolutionary Guard.

According to Clinton, “they share responsibility for sustained and severe violation of human rights in Iran.” None of them do have bank accounts in the U.S., of course, but the administration apparently hopes that Europeans will show some loyalty or even obedience and follow her colleagues in Washington.  U.S. authorities also put into effect prohibition on imports of Iranian rugs and barred pistachios and other Iranian food.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com ridiculed comments the other day on the U.S. Administration’s decision. Finally, he bitterly notes, is Obama willing to punish torturers, a promise he had revised when claiming that the World (or the U.S., or both) has to look forward not backward. He had made this 180 degrees turn with regard to humiliation of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan, beating and torture such as waterboarding, rape and even killing of detainees in U.S. American custody, as Greenwald reminds us.

Not that it would really matter in particular, but an American (and Turkish) citizen, 19 yr old Furkan Doğan, had been killed, together with five Turkish activists, in an execution-style manner, as Gareth Porter reports at Truthout.com, when the May 31 Gaza Flotilla had been raided in international waters by an Israeli commando. The international fact-finding mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla details (on p. 38, para 170) in its report of September 22:

“The circumstances of the killing of at least six of the passengers were in a manner consistent with an extra-legal, arbitrary and summary execution. Furkan Doğan and İbrahim Bilgen were shot at near range while the victims were lying injured on the top deck. Cevdet Kiliçlar, Cengiz Akyüz, Cengiz Songür and Çetin Topçuoğlu were shot on the bridge deck while not participating in activities that represented a threat to any Israeli soldier. In these instances and possibly other killings on the Marvi Marmara, Israeli forces carried out extralegal, arbitrary and summary executions prohibited by international human rights law, specifically article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Porter further reports that,

“[T]he Turkish government gave the autopsy report on Dogan to the US Embassy in July and it was then passed on to the Department of Justice, according to a US government source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the administration’s policy of silence on the matter. The source said the purpose of obtaining the report was to determine whether an investigation of the killing by the Justice Department (DOJ) was appropriate.

“Asked by [Porter] whether the DOJ had received the autopsy report on Dogan, DOJ spokesperson Laura Sweeney refused to comment.”

According to Porter, a State Department official read a statement that did not explicitly acknowledge the OHCHR report’s conclusion about the Israeli executions.

“The statement said the fact-finding mission’s report’s ‘tone and conclusions are unbalanced.’ It went on to state, ‘We urge that this report not be used for actions that could disrupt direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine that are now underway or actions that would make it not possible for Israel and Turkey to move beyond the recent strains in their traditional strong relationship.’”

In an interview with Larry King, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu a “skilled killer (of children and women).” It is hoped that Clinton and Obama do not want to be called accomplices when he is visiting New York next time.

 

Last modified September 30, 2010.

 

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