U.S. to take action to facilitate communications by Iranians, targets Iranian government censorship
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 31/ Trend/
The United States is taking a number of coordinated actions today that target persons contributing to human rights abuses in Iran and enhance the ability of the Iranian people to access communication technology, according to the U.S. Treasury official website.
"As the Iranian government attempts to silence its people by cutting off their communication with each other and the rest of the world, the United States will continue to take action to help the Iranian people exercise their universal human rights, including the right to freedom of expression," says the statement on the website.
The statement also says that the people of Iran should be able to communicate and access information without being subject to reprisals by their government.
According to the statement, to help facilitate the free flow of information in Iran and with Iranians, The U.S. Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the U.S. Department of State, is issuing a General License authorizing the exportation to Iran of certain services, software, and hardware incident to personal communications.
This license allows U.S. persons to provide the Iranian people with safer, more sophisticated personal communications equipment to communicate with each other and with the outside world.
"This General License aims to empower the Iranian people as their government intensifies its efforts to stifle their access to information. The General License would not authorize the export of any equipment to the Iranian government or to any individual or entity on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list."
The statement also says that the U.S. Treasury Department designated an individual and entities in Iran for contributing to serious human rights abuses committed by the Iranian regime, including through the use of communications technology to silence and intimidate the Iranian people.
"Those designated include the Committee to Determine Instances of Criminal Content, the government entity charged with filtering the flow of information to the Iranian people as well Asghar Mir-Hejazi, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Supreme Leader, who has used his influence behind the scenes to empower elements from Iran's intelligence services in carrying out violent crackdowns against the Iranian people," says the statement.
Also yesterday, the U.S. State Department imposed visa restrictions on nearly 60 other officials of the Government of Iran and other individuals who participated in the commission of human rights abuses related to political repression in Iran.
The individuals subject to these new U.S. visa restrictions include government ministers; military, intelligence, and law enforcement officers; judiciary and prison officials; and authorities from Iran's information technology sector.
"These restrictions cover those who have played a role in the ongoing repression of students, human rights defenders, lawyers, artists, journalists, religious and ethnic minorities, and other members of Iranian civil society," says the statement.
The State Department previously imposed the same restrictions on more than 50 Iranian officials and other individuals involved in similar activities.