US blacklists top Iraqi official Fayyad

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Washington (AFP)

The US Treasury on Friday imposed sanctions on the leader of the Iraqi paramilitary popular mobilization force, saying he was linked to “serious human rights violations.”

The Treasury said Faleh Fayyadh, head of the state-sponsored pro-Iran fighting network, was responsible for brutal attacks on protesters in October 2019.

“By directing and overseeing the assassination of peaceful Iraqi protesters, Iranian-aligned activists and politicians such as Faleh Fayyadh waged a violent campaign against Iraqi democracy and civil society,” Treasury Secretary Steven said. Mnuchin.

The PMF – Hashed al-Shaabi in Arabic – has close ties to Tehran but is overseen by the Iraqi government, with Fayyadh its president and commander-in-chief.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that Fayyadh was also a member of a “crisis cell” supported by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards, which the United States qualifies as a terrorist organization.

“Iran-Aligned Forces (PMF) continue to wage a murderous campaign against political activists in Iraq who call for free and fair elections, respect for human rights and transparent and accountable governance,” he said. Pompeo said in a statement.

Fayyadh is one of the most senior Iraqi officials to be put on the US sanctions blacklist.

He recently participated in public commemorations organized by Iraq to mark the first anniversary of the US murder of the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Qasem Soleimani and Fayyad’s Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

The sanctions aim to freeze all the assets of a named person under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit U.S. companies – including banks and other companies with U.S. branches – from doing business with them.

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