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U.S. to sanction Iran's court system for the first time, following execution of wrestler

Secretary Pompeo will reportedly announce the new sanctions Thursday.

Updated: September 24, 2020 - 5:51pm

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The Trump administration will sanction Iran's Revolutionary Court for what it considers gross violations of human rights, including the recent execution of wrestler Navid Afkari and other abuses, a U.S. official told Fox News.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday will reportedly announce sanctions against Iran for the execution of the 27-year-old Afkari earlier this month, following his arrest and torture for participating in protests in 2018. 

United States Special Representative for Iran Elliott Abrams said: "These so-called 'revolutionary courts' are not what anyone in the United States would recognize as a court. Their purpose is to maintain the regime's stranglehold on power and put Iranians who seek freedom into prison – or even to order their execution. They take orders for their verdicts from the Ayatollahs and they make a mockery of justice."

The new sanctions will be a reversal of the State Department's longstanding policy to leave foreign courts and judges off of lists of those selected for human rights sanctions. However, Pompeo argues that the Iranian court system does not function as a normal or just court would. 

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