June 22, 2018 | The Hill
US should sanction Iran’s notorious ‘hanging judge’
“The story is as jarring as it is depressingly familiar.”
In mid-May, Iranian judge Abolghassem Salavati told a British-Iranian prisoner to expect a new conviction on fresh charges of “propaganda against the state.” Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, whom Salavati first sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 on equally specious espionage allegations, constitutes one of more than a dozen known dual and foreign nationals — including at least seven U.S. citizens and permanent residents — languishing in Iran’s notorious jails for putatively seeking to overthrow the Islamist regime.
The Trump administration, as part of its newly announced Iran strategy, has called for their release and pledged to support the Iranian people’s larger struggle for freedom. But while the European Union sanctioned Salavati for his human rights abuses in 2011, Washington has yet to follow suit. A U.S. designation of Salavati, one of the harshest figures in Iran’s judiciary, would mark an important way to increase pressure on the regime for its longstanding repression of Iranians and Americans alike.”Tzvi Kahn is a senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @TzviKahn.
Follow FDD on Twitter @FDD. FDD is a Washington-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.