New Iranian Head of Police Has A Dark Past, Sanctioned By US

Iran Is Showing Some

( – Last week, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei issued a decree appointing Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Radan, who is under US sanctions for human rights abuses, as the new head of the National Police. The news comes amid the ongoing protests that began in September after the in-custody death of Mahsa Amini, which have reportedly resulted in over 470 deaths.

According to the official state news agency IRNA, Radan will replace Hosein Ashtari, who “has completed his mission” after serving eight years in the post. In his decree, the Ayatollah instructs Radan to “take measures to safeguard security and provide public tranquility.”

Radan, a former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, served as provincial police chief in several provinces of Iran, including Sistan, Baluchistan, and finally Tehran. He is known for his taking a hardline stance on women who do not follow strict adherence to Islamic dress codes and for arresting young people who embrace Western trends.

In the wake of police violence during the Green Movement protests that followed the 2009 presidential election, Radan was placed on the US sanctions list for committing human rights violations.

In 2010, the US Department of the Treasury said in its sanctions notice that Radan was responsible for “beatings, killings, and arbitrary arrests and detentions of protesters.” According to the US, Radan was also an active participant in the abuse of detainees at the Kahrizak prison, where hundreds of protesters were held.

In a column at 19FortyFive, United Against Iran policy director Jason Brodsky argues that Radan’s appointment is a sign that the Ayatollah isn’t serious about responding to the demands of the protesters, and is likely looking to further crackdown on dissent instead.

Last weekend, Iranian authorities announced that two more demonstrators had been executed for their roles in the ongoing protests.

Mohamed Mehdi Karami and Mohamed Hosseini, who were convicted of killing a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s volunteer Basij force outside of Tehran on November 3, were the third and fourth demonstrators to be executed since the protests began.

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