The Majlis is moving to retaliate against the United States for sanctioning Iranian officials as human rights abusers by issuing its own sanctions against Americans.
On Tuesday, the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee voted to impose sanctions on 26 Americans who, it says, “have violated human rights, perpetrated crimes against humanity, and enabled drug trafficking.”
Deputy Kazem Jalali, the spokesman for the committee, named five of those sanctioned and said the others would be identified later. However, he failed to say what the sanctions consist of.
The United States first named some Iranian human rights violators last fall. So far, it has identified 10 human rights violators.
The EU has identified a total of 32 Iranians as human rights violators, but the Majlis committee isn’t preparing sanctions against anyone in the EU.
The Majlis committee is only retaliating for the sanctioning of Iranians for human rights abuses. It isn’t retaliating for the hundreds of Iranians sanctioned by Washington for involvement in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.
Jalali said the full list of 26 would be announced later. The five he identified Tuesday are:
• Donald Rumsfeld, who was secretary of defense from 2001 through 2006 while Iraq and Afghanistan were invaded.
• Thomas J. Pickard, who was the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 71 days in 2001 before the terrorist attacks of that year. Jalali did not explain why Pickard was being sanctioned.
• Major General Geoffrey D. Miller, who was the first warden at the Guantanamo prison and also ran the Abu Gharaib prison in Iraq. He is a very controversial figure in the United States for his advocacy of harsh interrogation techniques.
• Admiral Jeffrey Harbeson, the commandant at Guantanamo since last June. Jalali didn’t explain why he was named given that the policies at Guantanamo were changed years ago and Harbeson is not accused of mistreating prisoners.
• Captain William C. Rogers III, who was the skipper of the USS Vincennes in 1988 who gave the order to shoot down an approaching aircraft that turned out to be an Iran Air passenger flight. All 290 on board died. Iran contends that Rogers knew the plane was a civilian aircraft and intentionally shot it down.
The Mehr news agency listed three other names it said it had learned are on the sanctions list:
• Gen. Tommy Franks, commander-in-chief of the Central Command from 2000 to 2003 who oversaw the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
• Paul Bremer, the civilian who headed the occupation government in Iraq for 13 months in 2003 and 2004.
• Richard Pearle, who was an assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan. Under President George W. Bush, he held an advisory position as a member of the Defense Policy Advisory Committee, but had no position of authority in the US government.