U.S. designates Iranian officials for alleged elections manipulation
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. government on Thursday announced fresh sanctions against five senior Iranian officials, accusing them of elections manipulation in Iran.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury said in a statement that the five designated officials are members of Iran's Guardian Council and its Elections Supervision Committee, which are responsible for "vetting candidates."
"The Trump Administration will not tolerate the manipulation of elections to favor the regime's malign agenda," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
According to the Treasury, all property and interests in property of the designated individual and entity are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from transacting with them.
The sanctions came one day before the Iranian parliamentary election on Friday, when Iranian people will go to the ballot boxes to vote for lawmakers for the 290-seat parliament.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday called for a high turnout in the upcoming parliamentary elections to disappoint the United States.
Since its unilateral exit from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, Washington has been mounting pressure on Tehran through a series of sanctions. Iran has maintained a tough stance and scaled back its nuclear commitments in response.