PARIS — The European Union and the British government both announced additional sanctions against Iranian officials Monday, citing breaches of human rights and crackdown on protesters.
EU foreign ministers designated eight individuals and one entity accused of committing serious human rights violations in Iran. A statement issued following the monthly meeting of the ministers in Brussels said the EU is sanctioning members of the Iranian judiciary responsible for handing down death sentences in unfair trials and over allegations of torturing detainees.
According to the statement, there are also new sanctions on “conservative clerics undermining the freedom of girls and women or propagating hate against women; a member of the Iranian Parliament and its spokesman for the cultural commission; the spokesman of the EU-listed Headquarters for Enjoining Right and Forbidding Evil; the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, a body which promoted several projects undermining the freedom of girls and women and discriminating minorities and the chief for cultural affairs and policy evolution at EU-listed Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which broadcasted forced confessions from foreign hostages during the recent protests.”
The new list includes conservative cleric Abdol Hossein Khosrou Panah, Friday prayer leader of Mashhad Ahmad Alam-Al Hoda, member of the Iranian Parliament Ahmad Rastineh, spokesperson of the EU-listed Headquarters for Enjoining Right and Forbidding Evil Hodjatoleslam Ali Khan Mohammadi, Chief Justice of Mazandaran province Mohammad Sadegh Akbari, presiding judge of branch 1 of the Revolutionary Courts of Isfahan Morteza Barati, head judge of branch 1 of the Revolutionary Courts of Karaj Musa Asif Al Hosseini and the head of cultural affairs and policy evolution at the EU-listed Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Vahid Jalili. The list also includes the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution.
These new restrictions bring the number of Iranian individuals sanctioned by the EU to 204 and the number of Iranian entities sanctioned to 34. The individual sanctions involve asset freezes and travel bans. The entity sanctions include an order restricting funds and other economic resources and a ban on exporting equipment that Iran might use for repression or monitoring telecommunications.
The British government decided on Monday to sanction five board members of the Co-operative Foundation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). London also decided to sanction two senior IRGC commanders. The seven are accused of human rights violations and participating in the ongoing crackdown on protesters and regime opponents. The sanctions constitute an asset freeze and UK travel ban.
The list of the seven people sanctioned by London include the chair of the IRGC Co-operative Foundation's board, Ali Asghar Nourouzi, his deputy Seyyed Aminollah Emami Tabatabai and three other board members: Jamal Babamoradi, Ahmad Karimi and Yahya Ala’Oddini. The two commanders are Ahmed Zulqadr from Tehran province, and Alireza Heydarnia from Alborz.
The foundation is the body responsible for funneling funds into the Iranian regime’s repression campaign. According to the British Foreign Office, it was initially established to support IRGC service members, but then broadened into funding the organization’s repressive activities in Iran and abroad. It is also responsible for funding the IRGC's foreign arm the Quds Force, which is responsible for deadly activities outside of Iran, by financing the training and equipping of proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
The entire IRGC was already under British sanctions. Also, since October, and after the killing of Masha Amini, London sanctioned several senior officials in particular. The last wave of UK sanctions against the Iran regime was announced Feb. 20, when British Foreign Minister James Cleverly summoned Iran’s top diplomat for a reprimand over serious threats against journalists living in the country. London also announced further sanctions against Iranian officials.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Monday, “Today we are taking action on the senior leaders within the IRGC who are responsible for funneling money into the regime’s brutal repression. Together with our partners around the world, we will continue to stand with the Iranian people as they call for fundamental change in Iran.”
Israel’s envoy to the United Nations institutions in Geneva, Meirav Eilon Shahar, addressed the UN Human Rights Council Monday during a meeting over Iran. Eilon Shahar said, “Israel is alarmed by the horrific testimonies of those in detention and the use of the death penalty as a tool of repression.” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen will arrive in London tonight for a meeting tomorrow. One of the major topics of his planned discussion with his British counterpart is expected to be the Iranian threat as Israel campaigns to see European and American sanctions expanded.