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U.S., Britain and Canada expanding bans on Iranians’ visas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States, Canada and Britain are joining to expand the number of Iranian officials denied visas on suspicion of violating human rights.

"More than 50 Iranian officials would be subject to these new U.S. visa restrictions, including government ministers, military and law enforcement officers, and judiciary and prison officials," the U.S. State Department said in its announcement July 8. "The restrictions cover those who have played a role in the ongoing repression of students, human rights defenders, lawyers, artists, civil society representatives, women’s rights leaders, and religious and ethnic minorities."

The statement did not name the officials, citing U.S. privacy laws, but noted that Britain was joining in the action and Canada would do so soon.

The visa denials are the latest in a series of international sanctions against Iranian entities and individuals for their roles in suppressing human rights and in advancing a suspected nuclear weapons program.

A day earlier, Iran had announced plans to try in absentia 26 current and former U.S. officials for crimes against Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among them was Stuart Levey, the former Treasury undersecretary who has been the architect of sanctions targeting Iran.

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