U.S sanctions Ayatollah Jannati and four other members of Guardian Council
One day before Iran’s parliamentary elections, the U.S Treasury Department sanctioned Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the chairman of the Guardian Council and along with four other members of the council including Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, Siamak Rahpeik, Mohammad Hassan Sadeghi Moghaddam, and Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi for preventing free and fair elections in Iran.
The Treasury announced on Thursday that the decision was made in response to the disqualification of thousands of parliamentary candidates.
The statement emphasizes that the Guardian Council, whose members are appointed by the supreme leader, disqualifies candidates that do not share the regime’s views and therefore make a fair and free election impossible.
The Trump Administration will not tolerate the manipulation of elections to favor the regime's malign agenda, and this action exposes those senior regime officials responsible for preventing the Iranian people from freely choosing their leaders," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.
He added: “The United States will continue to support the democratic aspirations of Iranians."
The sanctions freeze any American-held assets of the officials and generally bar American citizens from doing business with them.
Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, the spokesman for the Guardian Council and one of the sanctioned members explained for the reporters that the disqualifications had nothing to do with the political inclinations of the candidates and that the Guardian Council had done its best to enforce the law.
Kadkhodaei had previously reported that out of the 16,000 people who applied to compete in the elections, some 9,000 were disqualified.