The United States said on Thursday it had sanctioned Iran's national police force and police chief and two other security forces for serious rights violations since Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election.
The sanctions, announced by the U.S. departments of State and Treasury, apply to Iran's Law Enforcement Forces and its commander Ismail Ahmadi Moghadam, and to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Basij Resistance Force.
The sanctions would freeze any of the targets' assets under U.S. jurisdiction and bar U.S. persons and institutions from dealing with them. They also make Moghadam and potentially all members of the groups ineligible for U.S. visas.
Many in the Western media and apparently in the USG were under the mistaken impression that the IRGC were the primary force conducting crowd dispersal operations following the 2009 presidential election in Iran. In fact, a number of counterfeit IRGC and Artesh documents arose, betraying this misconception. Perhaps now the USG and media will be better informed of the fact that it is Iran's law enforcement agency that is the primary force responsible for dispersing unlawful assemblies on the streets of Tehran and other Iranian municipalities.
Also, it should be pointed out that Iran's police force is actually being penalized for effecting the Iranian government's policy of less-lethal force, even during periods of rioting and where law enforcement officers' lives are in danger, which stands in contrast to situations where U.S. law enforcement policies specify lethal force be employed.
That said, it's unclear to what extent these sanctions affect NAJA, if at all beyond that of mere posturing.