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Iran Protest Crackdown: EU, UK Impose Further Sanctions

March 20, 2023
2 min read
Iran Protest Crackdown: EU, UK Impose Further Sanctions

The European Union and Britain have decided to impose restrictive measures on additional Iranian individuals and entities responsible for serious human rights violations in the country, including senior officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), members of the judiciary and the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution.

The EU, the UK, the United States and other countries have in recent months issued several waves of sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its bloody crackdown on antigovernment protesters.

The UK government said on March 20 that it has sanctioned “five members on the Board of Directors of the IRGC Co-operative Foundation, the body responsible for managing the IRGC’s investments.”

Two senior IRGC commanders operating in Tehran and Alborz provinces were also targeted for “gross human rights violations.”

"Today we are taking action on the senior leaders within the IRGC who are responsible for funnelling money into the regime's brutal repression," Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.

“Together with our partners around the world, we will continue to stand with the Iranian people as they call for fundamental change in Iran,” he added.

Meanwhile, the EU announced it had decided to impose sanctions on eight individuals, including members of the judiciary responsible for “handing down death sentences in unfair trials and for the torturing of convicts,” “conservative clerics undermining the freedom of girls and women or propagating hate against women” and a member of parliament.

The Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution was also sanctioned for promoting “projects undermining the freedom of girls and women and discriminating minorities.”

The EU said its restrictive measures now apply to a total of 204 individuals and 34 entities. The measures consist of an asset freeze, a travel ban and a prohibition to make funds available to those listed. A ban on exports of equipment which might be used for repression in Iran and of equipment for monitoring telecommunications is also in place.

Iran has been swept by protests demanding fundamental changes since the September 2022 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in custody.

The authorities responded to the women-led protest movement with brutal force, killing more than 520 demonstrators and unlawfully detaining over 20,000, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.

Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, told the Human Rights Council on March 20 that the violations committed by the Islamic Republic may amount to crimes against humanity.

In a statement marking Nowrouz, the Persian New Year, US President Joe Biden said the United States will continue to stand with “the women of Iran who are fighting for their human rights and fundamental freedoms” and all the Iranian citizens “who are inspiring the world with their conviction and courage.”

“Together with our partners, we will continue to hold Iranian officials accountable for their attacks against their people,” Biden added.



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