US hits Iran with further sanctions over Mahsa Amini death

US hits Iran with further sanctions over Mahsa Amini death
The US has hit Iran with more sanctions on seven of Tehran's high-ranking government officials in a response to the ongoing Mahsa Amini protests, violent crackdown on demonstrators and its shutdown of internet access.
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Iran has been protesting against Mahsa Amini death in anti-government protests that have swept the country over the past three weeks [Getty]

The US on Thursday imposed more sanctions on Iranian government officials in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa or Zhina Amini, as protests have embroiled dozens of Iranian cities for weeks and evolved into the most widespread challenge to Iran’s leadership in years.

US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control designated seven high-ranking leaders for financial penalties due to the shutdown of Iran’s internet access, repression of speech and violence inflicted on protesters and civilians. Iran's interior and communications ministers and several law enforcement leaders were targeted for sanctions.

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Amini was detained in September by the morality police, who said she didn’t properly cover her hair with the mandatory hijab. She was allegedly beaten at a police station in Tehran, according to her relatives and witnesses, and was pronounced dead three days later.

The 22-year-old's death set off protests in dozens of cities across the country and the government has responded with a fierce crackdown. Authorities have detained at least 35 reporters and photographers since the demonstrations began September 17, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.