Skip to main content

EU, UK slap new sanctions on Iran's IRGC leadership

Shortly after the British Foreign Ministry announced more sanctions against Iranian officials, the European Union added its own new sanctions on Iranian individuals and entities.
An Iranian man walks past banners at a street exhibition by Iran's army and paramilitary Revolutionary Guard force to celebrate "Defence Week", marking the 41th anniversary of the start of 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, at the Baharestan Square in Tehran, on September 25, 2021. (Photo by Atta KENARE / AFP) (Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

British sanctions

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.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Security Briefing Security Briefing

Security Briefing

Middle East defense and security in your inbox

Trend Reports

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (4th R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. (Photo by HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images)

From roads to routers: The future of China-Middle East connectivity

A general view shows the solar plant in Uyayna, north of Riyadh, on March 29, 2018. - On March 27, Saudi announced a deal with Japan's SoftBank to build the world's biggest solar plant. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Regulations on Middle East renewable energy industry starting to take shape

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial