The Obama administration has slapped sanctions on Iran's police chief and three government entities it says are involved in the brutal repression of Iranian citizens.
The sanctions affect Iran's Revolutionary Guard corps, hardline Basij militiamen and law enforcement forces. Police chief Ahmadi Moghadam was also named.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday the U.S. was intent on holding human rights abusers accountable.
She criticized Iran for holding political prisoners and executing people on dubious charges. She said Iran's authorities imprison religious and ethnic minorities, and target women's rights activists and labor leaders.
Clinton said the U.S. stands with all Iranians who wish for a government that respects human rights.