The West continues to increase pressure against the Iranian regime for the brutal repression of citizen protests over the death in police custody of the young Masha Amini, arrested for not wearing the veil properly. This Monday, The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) announced new sanctions against senior officials of the Islamic Republic.
The US Treasury Department sanctioned Iran’s Deputy Intelligence Minister, Naser Rashediand a foundation linked to the Revolutionary Guard, as well as the officials in charge of said foundation.
These coordinated sanctions with the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom block all their properties in the United States and prohibit them from any type of economic or commercial transaction.
It is the ninth round of US sanctions on Iran since the start of the protests in September last year.
Rashedi was sanctioned for acting on behalf of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, a body sanctioned since 2012 for “its central role in the human rights abuses of the Iranian people”the Treasury said in a statement.
According to the United States, the agents of this ministry have tried to suppress the current anti-government protests with practices that include beatings, sexual abuse, censorship and forced confessions of prisoners.
The Treasury also sanctioned the Fundación Cooperativa de la Guardia Revolucionariaan economic conglomerate linked to this security body that is present in various sectors of the Iranian economy.
The direction of this foundation was also appointed by the United States, as well as four officials in charge of security in various provinces of the Persian country.
The British government, meanwhile, announced the imposition of more sanctions on Iranian officials, including the deputy attorney general. Ahmad Fazelyanin retaliation for Tehran regime violence, such as the recent execution of former Defense Minister Alireza Akbariof British and Iranian nationality.
With this measure, which joins others imposed by the European Union (EU) and the United States, there is unanimous condemnation by the international community of the violence that the Iranian regime is inflicting on its own people, the Foreign Office said in a statement. .
Fazelian, the note indicates, is responsible for a judicial system marked by unfair trials and atrocious punishments, including the use of the death penalty for political purposes.
The list of those sanctioned published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also includes Kiyumars HeidariCommander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Heidari has publicly admitted his involvement and that of his force in the violent response to the November 2019 protests that killed at least hundreds of protesters, and continues to order a crackdown on the ongoing protests.
there is also Hossein Nejatdeputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) of the Sarallah headquarters (the IRGC division responsible for security in Tehran), as well as Salar Abnoushdeputy commander of the Basij, the IRGC force that is mobilized by the regime’s leadership to impose brutal repression on the streets of Iran.
The statement adds that Abnoush has control over the Basij forces and leads repressive tactics.
“Those sanctioned today, from judicial figures using the death penalty for political gain to thugs beating protesters in the streets, are at the center of the regime’s brutal crackdown on the Iranian people,” the British minister said. of Foreign Affairs, James Cleverly.
“The UK and our partners have sent a clear message through these sanctions that there will be no hiding place for those guilty of the worst human rights violations,” he said.
For his part, the European Union sanctioned another 37 individuals and entities from Iran for considering them responsible for the repression of the fundamental freedoms of citizens.
The community foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, gave the green light to the fourth round of sanctions against the Iranian regime in the context of the human rights situation in the country, which includes new restrictive measures against 18 people and 19 entities.
The list, already published in the Official Gazette of the EU in order for the sanctions to come into force, includes personalities such as the Iranian Minister of Sport and Youth, Hamid Sajjadi, whom the EU considers “responsible for putting pressure on athletes from Iran to keep them silent and to prevent them from speaking out internationally against the repression” in the country.
The EU details that Sajjadi was “personally involved” in the case of Elnaz Rekabian Iranian climber who competed without a headscarf at the Asian Climbing Championships in Seoul last fall 2022.
According to the EU, after the competition, Rekabi was “tricked” into entering the Iranian Embassy building in Seoul, where her passport and mobile phone were confiscated by order of the Iranian authorities.
Later, in Tehran, she was interrogated and met with Sajjadi, at which point “she was forced to make a statement apologizing for competing without a hijab and was threatened with the confiscation of land owned by her family”, whose house was later revealed. that had been demolished, says the EU.
Among the sanctioned senior Iranian officials, several local governors stand out, some of them with a past in the local forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, as well as parliamentarians, or the head of the Central Office to Order Good and Prohibit Evil ( Central Office for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice), Mohammed Saleh Hashemian entity that has also been included in the blacklist.
Directors of the Broadcasting Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran and several members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the paramilitary Basij Resistance Force have also been sanctioned.
On this occasion, the European ministers did not take any decision on including the Guardians, as an entity, in their list of terrorist organizations, as requested by the European Parliament and endorsed by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrellpointed out upon his arrival at the Council that, for the Revolutionary Guard to be considered a terrorist entity, a sentence to that effect must be handed down in a court of one of the Member States of the Union, something that has not yet occurred.
Several regional bodies of the Revolutionary Guard have also been included in the list of sanctions. and, also, to the Special Forces of the Iranian Police.
Similarly, technology companies that have been at the service of internal repression or authorities such as the Communications Regulatory Authority, associated with the Iranian Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.
After learning of the vote in the European Parliament last week that asked to consider the Iranian elite group as a terrorist at the EU level, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hosein Amir Abdolahianreported this Sunday that the Iranian Parliament plans to put members of the military of European countries on the terrorist list in response.
The Iranian authorities have responded to the social protests with a strong police repression that has caused almost 500 deaths and nearly 20,000 arrests, according to NGOs established outside of Iran, in addition to the execution of four protesters.
The EU has already imposed, since Amini’s death, three rounds of targeted sanctions against Iranian officials who have been banned from traveling to its territory and have frozen any assets they may have in member states.
The protests have lost strength significantly after the executions of four demonstrators and in recent weeks there have been hardly any mobilizations on the streets of Iran.
(With information from EFE)
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