In a coordinated move, the European Union, United States and United Kingdom have imposed restrictive measures on additional individuals and an entity responsible for serious human rights violations in Iran, including a mobile service provider and commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The European Council said in a statement on April 24 it had decided to impose sanctions on eight individuals and Ariantel, an Iranian mobile service provider which contributed to the telecommunications surveillance architecture mapped out by the Iranian government to quash dissent.
New listings also include lawmakers, IRGC members and the IRCG Cooperative Foundation, the body responsible for managing the IRGC’s investments, the council said in a press release.
"The European Union and its member states urge the Iranian authorities to stop any form of violent crackdown against peaceful protests, cease their resort to arbitrary detentions as a means of silencing critical voices, and release all those unjustly detained," it said.
The US Treasury said it was imposing sanctions on four senior officials of the Law Enforcement Forces of Iran (LEF) and the IRGC, which it called "the primary Iranian security forces responsible for the regime’s brutal suppression of the protests that broke out in September 2022."
Those sanctioned include Parviz Absalan, deputy commander of the IRGC Salman Corps of Sistan and Baluchistan province, Amanollah Goshtasbi, deputy inspector of the IRGC’s Ground Forces, Ahmed Khadem Seyedoshohada, commander of the IRGC’s Karbala Operational Base, and Salman Adinehvand, commander of the Tehran Police Relief Unit of the LEF.
“The Iranian people deserve freedom of expression without the threat of violent retaliation and censorship from those in power,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Along with our key allies and partners, such as the United Kingdom, the United States will continue to take action against those responsible for the regime’s violent repression and censorship.”
Meanwhile, the UK government imposed sanctions on four IRGC commanders, “under whose leadership IRGC forces have opened fire on unarmed protestors resulting in numerous deaths, including of children, and have arbitrarily detained and tortured protestors,” it said in a statement.
Those targeted include Mohammad Azimi, an IRGC commander responsible for the repression of protests in Kermanshah province, Habib Shahsavari, a commander in Mahabad and Piranshahr, and Mohsen Karimi, who is held responsible for the crackdown on demonstrations in Markazi province, including beating to death of a 19-year-old protester in a detention center. Ahmad Kadem was responsible for repression in the town of Izeh, Khuzestan province, during which a nine-year-old child was shot and killed.
“The Iranian regime are responsible for the brutal repression of the Iranian people and for exporting bloodshed around the world,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said. He added that the UK and its international partners “are again making clear today that we will not overlook the regime’s brutal oppression. We will continue to take a range of action to hold the regime to account for its actions.”
The Iranian authorities have cracked down hard on months of nationwide protests sparked by the September 2022 death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody.
Security forces have killed more than 520 people and unlawfully detained over 20,000, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.