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U.S. imposes sanctions on eight Iranians for human-rights abuses

Secretaries Clinton and Geithner announced that yesterday President Obama signed an executive order targeting eight Iranian officials for sanctions.

These individuals are responsible for "serious and sustained human-rights abuses since the disputed election of June 2009," Clinton said.

So, what makes these sanctions any different than previous sanctions against Iran? This is the first time the U.S. has ever imposed sanctions against the rogue nation based solely on human-rights abuses.

Clinton called this "a practical announcement, in that there are financial and travel restrictions that will be imposed," but added that it is also "a statement of our values."

The U.S. believes that these officials either stood by or directly ordered arbitrary arrests, beatings, torture, rape, blackmail and murder of Iranian citizens.

Clinton forecasted a gloomy future for the state of human rights in Iran and for the need for additional sanctions of this type, saying, "We would like to be able to tell you that it might be the last, but we fear not."

And asked how these sanctions may actually make an impact in Iran, when critics claim that previous efforts have had negligible effect, Treasury Secretary Geithner said that "we can see, and we can see every week, how hard it is for the Iranian government to evade, to get around these things."

"It's become much harder for them," he said, adding, "that is having a big visible impact in awareness among the leadership of Iran that the actions they're taking have acute, severe, significant economic and financial consequences."