Saturday, April 20, 2024

UK, EU announce fresh sanctions on Iranian officials over “rights abuse”

The UK government and the European Union on Monday imposed new sanctions on several Iranian officials and a telecom firm for alleged human rights violations. Tehran and several Western states have been engaged in a diplomatic row over their stance on the recent unrest in Iran.

The latest UK sanctions are against four commanders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), “under whose leadership IRGC forces have opened fire on unarmed protestors resulting in numerous deaths, including of children, and have arbitrarily detained and tortured protesters.”

The UK has designated more than 70 Iranian officials and entities for “human rights violations” since October 2022, bringing the total number of Iran-related designations to more than 300.

The British government announced that sanctions will ensure that the individuals on the list cannot travel to the UK and any of their assets held in the UK will be frozen.

The European Council also said in a statement on Monday it had decided to impose restrictive measures on eight additional individuals and one entity responsible for “serious human rights violations” in Iran.

It added that the council is sanctioning Ariantel, an Iranian mobile service provider, which contributed to the telecommunications surveillance architecture mapped out by the Iranian government to quash dissent and critical voices in Iran.

New listings also include lawmakers in the Iranian Parliament, members of the IRGC and the IRCG Cooperative Foundation – the body responsible for managing the IRGC’s investments.

Riots broke out in Iran in mid-September after the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old fainted at a police station in Tehran and was pronounced dead three days later in hospital.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization concluded that Amini’s death was caused by illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry stressed that the United States and the United Kingdom were “directly” involved in the unrest, adding that dozens of terrorists affiliated with the Israeli regime and anti-revolution groups have also been detained in the unrest.

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