United States: Units of sanctioned Iranian commander shot at fleeing protesters
As many as 148 people died when Hassan Shahvarpour's units surrounded the demonstrators
The United States sanctioned an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander for overseeing the massacre of 148 people in Iran, according to documents released in Washington.
Washington action against Hassan Shahvarpour, a commander in Khuzestan province, based on media reports and tips submitted by Iraniansto the Department of State’s Rewards for Justice programme.
It said units reporting to Shahvarpour lit fire to a marsh in which protesters took cover in Mahshahr last November and opened fire when they surrounded fleeing protesters in armoured vehicles.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Iranian authorities "engaged in the violent suppression of protests" and "violated the rights to life and of peaceful assembly".
"The United States has heard the Iranian people, collected information submitted by ordinary Iranians through the Rewards for Justice tip line, followed the evidence, and has taken action against this abusive official whose actions are only one example of the many reported human rights violations which were perpetrated during the countrywide protests of November 2019 in Iran," she said.
Reuters reported last month that about 1,500 people were killed during less than two weeks of unrest that started in Iran on November 15.
Iran disputes the US account of events.
Updated: January 19, 2020 09:21 AM