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US hits Iran general with sanctions over protest crackdown

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday imposed sanctions on a senior Iranian general for his role in a brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters as it ramps up its maximum pressure campaign on the Islamic Republic.

The State Department said it imposed penalties on Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Hassan Shahvarpour for directing a massacre of nearly 150 demonstrators in southwestern Iran in November.

“General Shahvarpour was in command of units responsible for the violent crackdown and lethal repression around Mahshahr,” U.S. special envoy for Iran Brian Hook said. He said the designation was the result of photographic and video tips submitted to the department by Iranians.

The department has received more than 88,000 such tips since it appealed for Iranians to report evidence of repression and gross human rights abuses, Hook said.

Iran has denied U.S. allegations of widespread repression but has acknowledged confronting separatists in Mahshahr that it said were armed.

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