New legislation imposing sanctions on Iran will take aim at individuals accused of human rights violations, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Thursday.

Lieberman said that the bill he's set to unveil this afternoon with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would be the first of its time, singling out individuals for sanctions instead of whole governments.

"This would authorize the president to deny visas and freeze economic assets for people in Iran who are responsible for the kind of brutality that we're seeing on these videos," Lieberman said during an appearance on MSNBC.


The Connecticut senator was careful to distinguish the sanctions in this bill with penalties the global community has slapped on the Islamic Republic for its nuclear weapons development.

"I think the significant message we hope we're that while we've been understandably focused on the nuclear weapons program in Iran, and will continue to be with sanctions, it's time to start targeting the Iranian human rights abusers of its own people," he said.

Iran is marking the 31st anniversary of its Islamic revolution this week, and protestors against the current government have taken to the street, only to be met with violent crackdowns by the government.

Lieberman said that the sanctions being proposed would have the benefit of not having to go through the United Nations Security Council, where China has been reluctant to go along with tougher rules for Iran.

More broadly, Lieberman said that he believed that, with international assistance, the protesters in the streets of Tehran would ultimately succeed over the government.

"I would say that the opposition to this fanatical government, regime in Tehran is not going to go away," Lieberman asserted. "It's just a matter of time until the people triumph over this government that does not really represent them."