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Iran summons Swiss envoy to protest new US sanctions

Iran summoned Swiss ambassador Livia Leu Agosti on Thursday to protest against US sanctions targeting eight senior Iranian officials, the state news agency IRNA news agency reported.

“Ms Livia Leu Agosti, the Swiss ambassador who manages US interests in Iran, was summoned to the foreign ministry over the illegal sanctions,” IRNA said of the order issued by US President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

Obama imposed sanctions against the Iranians for their alleged roles in the crackdown against anti-government protesters who rejected the outcome of last year’s presidential election.

Among those targeted are Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Revolutionary Guards Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei and Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi.

Obama’s executive order will freeze any US assets held by the eight.

IRNA quoted a foreign ministry official as saying that these sanctions would disrupt “international order.”

“This act spells the disruption of international order because no law permits the American government to do such a thing, while it is also a political abuser of human rights,” the unidentified official said.

After the 2009 presidential election, hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters defied a government ban and poured onto the streets of Tehran to protest against the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

They were the largest protests seen since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Human rights groups have accused the government of suppressing the uprising through extra-judicial killings, rapes and torture.