WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of one of the four major branches of Syria’s security forces, the Syrian Political Security Directorate, for engaging in the commission of human rights abuses in Syria, as well as Iran’s national police for providing support to the Syrian regime. The chief and deputy chief of Iran’s national police and the head of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence were also sanctioned today.
Today’s actions were taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13572, signed by President Obama on April 29, 2011 targeting Syrian officials and others responsible for human rights abuses, and pursuant to E.O. 13573, signed by the President on May 18, 2011, targeting senior officials of the Government of Syria. As a result of today’s action, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the designees and any assets they may have subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.
“Today’s action builds on the Administration’s efforts to pressure Assad and his regime to end the use of wanton violence and begin transitioning to a system that ensures the universal rights of the Syrian people,” said Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “Also today we are exposing further Iran’s provision of its military and security forces to support the Syrian government’s ongoing violence and repression of the Syrian people.”
The Syrian Political Security Directorate is subordinate to the Ministry of Interior and one of four major branches of Syria’s security forces and was designated today pursuant to E.O. 13572. In mid-March 2011, armed members of the Dar’a Political Security Directorate opened fire on protestors who marched on the house of Dar’a Governor Faisal Kalthoum after Friday prayers.
In late April, protesters in Nawa, Syria, marched toward the Political Security Directorate office waving olive branches, and a tribal leader pleaded for the release of two detainees who had been taken by security forces from the hospital. Fifteen Political Security Directorate agents opened fire on the crowd, killing at least four and wounding eight.
Also designated today were Ismail Ahmadi Moghadam, the chief of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), and Ahmad-Reza Radan, the deputy chief of Iran’s LEF. LEF, Moghadam and Radan were all designated pursuant to E.O. 13572. In April 2011, Radan traveled to Damascus, where he met with Syrian security services and provided expertise to aid in the Syrian government's crackdown on the Syrian people.
Commonly referred to as Iran’s national police, the LEF has provided material support to the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate and dispatched personnel to Damascus in April to assist the Syrian government in suppressing the Syrian people.
The United States listed Radan in September 2010 in the annex to E.O. 13553 – which targets those responsible for or complicit in serious human rights abuses in Iran since the June 2009 disputed presidential election – and designated Iran’s LEF and Moghadam in June 2011 pursuant to E.O. 13553.
The United States first exposed Iran’s material support to the Syrian government related to cracking down on unrest in Syria in April 2011, by adding Iran´s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to the Annex to E.O. 13572 for providing support to the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate (GID), the overarching civilian intelligence service in Syria, which was also added to the Annex to E.O. 13572.
Treasury subsequently designated two senior IRGC-QF commanders pursuant to E.O. 13572 for their roles in the violent suppression of the Syrian people.
Also designated today, pursuant to E.O. 13573, was Major General Jamil Hassan, the head of Syrian Air Force Intelligence, one of Syria’s four main intelligence agencies. Syrian Air Force Intelligence was designated by Treasury in May 2011, pursuant to E.O. 13572.
In the context of today’s announcement, Treasury is also calling attention to the involvement of three senior Syrian regime figures, previously designated by Treasury pursuant to E.O. 13338, in the recent crackdown:
- During the recent unrest in Syria, Syrian Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff for Security and Reconaissance Assef Shawkat played a key role in dealing with demonstrations.
- Hisham Ikhtiyar heads the Syrian National Security Bureau, which was designated by Treasury in May 2011 pursuant to E.O. 13572, for directing Syrian security forces to use extreme force against demonstrators.
- Rustum Ghazali is a high ranking member of Syrian Military Intelligence, which was also designated by Treasury pursuant to E.O. 13572 in May 2011, for using force against and arresting demonstrators participating in the recent civil unrest in Syria.
Although not designated today, all three were previously designated by Treasury pursuant to E.O. 13338, signed by the President in May 2004 in response to the Syrian government's continued support of international terrorism, sustained occupation of Lebanon, pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and missile programs and undermining of U.S. and international efforts in Iraq.
Entity: Political Security Directorate
AKA: Political Security Division
Alt AKA: Idarat al-`Amn al-Siyyasi
Location: Damascus, Syria
Entity: Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran
AKA: Iran's Law Enforcement Forces
AKA: Iranian Police
AKA: Niruyih Intizamiyeh Jumhuriyih Islamiyih Iran
Individual: Ismail Ahmadi Moghadam
AKA: Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam
AKA: Esma'il Ahmadi-Moghaddam
AKA: Esameel Ahmadi Moghaddam
AKA: Esma'il Ahmadi-Moqaddam
POB: Tehran, Iran
Individual: Ahmad-Reza Radan
POB: Isfahan, Iran
Alt DOB: 1964
Individual: Jamil Hassan
AKA: Jamil Hasan