Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi was on the sanctions list because of the massive Internet outage in Iran
The U.S. Treasury Department’s office of foreign assets control (OFAC) has placed Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran’s Minister of information and communications technology, on the sanctions list. The sanctions are related to the active participation of the Minister in limiting the access of Iranians to the Internet and the introduction of strict Internet censorship. This is stated in a statement published on Friday on the website of the Ministry of Finance.
Massive restrictions on access to the global network continued in Iran for nearly a week and were linked to “national security concerns” due to massive anti-government protests that swept almost the entire country in November. The Agency, headed by Azari Jahromi, played a key role in shutting down the Internet. Similarly, the Iranian authorities restricted the access of residents to the global network in 2017 and 2018.
Azari Jahromi, formerly of the Ministry of intelligence, took over the Ministry of information and communications technology in mid-2017. Since his arrival in the Iranian censorship of the Internet increased significantly, according to the Ministry of Finance. In addition, the Minister was also engaged in the implementation of surveillance programs for opposition activists.
“Iranian leaders know that a free and open Internet exposes their illegitimacy, so they seek to restrict Internet access to suppress protests against the regime. We announce sanctions against the Minister of information and communications technology for restricting Internet access, including popular messengers that help tens of millions of Iranians stay in touch with each other and with the outside world, ” Steven Mnuchin, the us Treasury Secretary, said in a statement.
All property and property interests of Azari Jahromi under us jurisdiction should be blocked and information about it should be passed to OFAC. U.S. citizens are prohibited from conducting any transactions with persons on the sanctions list.