The US announced fresh sanctions Thursday against Iran for censoring access to the internet and blocking international television broadcasts, dpa reported.
Among those named under the sanctions was Iran's Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, which has jailed journalists and closed newspapers, along with Reza Taghipour, communications and information technology minster, and other officials "involved in the Iranian regime's ongoing attempts to repress and silence Iran's people," the US Treasury Department said.
"Such abuses demonstrate the Iranian government's ongoing campaign to censor its own citizens, curtail their freedoms, and to prevent the free flow of information both into and out of Iran," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
She cited jailed, tortured and censored Iranian journalists, students and other activists.
"We will continue to stand with the Iranian people in their quest to protect their dignity and freedoms and prevent the Iranian government from creating an 'electronic curtain' to cut Iranian citizens off from the rest of the world," Nuland said.
The sanctions prohibit US citizens and companies from doing business with the designated parties and freezes any assets held in US banks.
The US added several individuals to its sanctions list as terrorists or terrorist supporters linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Quds Force, which has aided militant group Kata'ib Hizballah in Iraq and Iran. The group, which is designated by Washington as a terrorist organization, was involved in targeting Iraqi, US and coalition forces in Iraq.
The Treasury Department added the Imam Hossein University, the Baghyatollah Medical Sciences University, the National Iranian Oil Company and contracting firm Tehran Gostaresh to its financial blacklist for involvement in weapons proliferation activities.