Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei attacked alleged American human-rights violations on his website and on social media Wednesday. His statement coincided with the Trump administration's announcement a new round of sanctions targeting Iranian government officials and offices accused by the U.S. of engaging in human-rights abuses and censorship.
That includes an Iranian prison where the Treasury Department said serious human-rights abuses take place; an organization that creates social media monitoring and disruption software; and people who allegedly blocked information aimed at people protesting against the Iranian regime.
These sanctions follow Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's promise last week that new, crushing sanctions against Iran were about to take effect. They also come in the wake of last winter's uprising by Iranians fed up with corruption, a poor economy, war abroad and repression. Iranian security forces attacked and killed protesters, and Iran's government cracked down on the internet to disrupt the demonstrations.
Khamenei tried to push back by citing alleged American human-rights abuses ranging from the 1993 Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas that left 76 people dead, mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, gun violence and U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.
"The Islamic Republic's statements are cogent, logical and provable," Khamenei said. "In all the areas that we mentioned, if we are accusing the US, we have cogent and convincing reasons ... There are logical reasons behind the things that we demanded from the UN as well."