Australia has issued a slew of new sanctions against Iran, targeting the morality police involved in the death of Mahsa Amini, as well as those supplying drones to Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.
The move comes after Australia sanctioned senior Iranian military and government officials last month, as well as the leaders of Myanmar’s military junta for orchestrating a coup.
The government on Monday said it was imposing Magnitsky-style targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on a further 14 individuals, as well as financial sanctions on 14 Iranian entities “responsible for egregious human rights abuses and violations in Iran”.
Four members of the morality police “who were responsible for the arrest, detention and ill-treatment of Mahsa ‘Jina’ Amini” are among those facing the Magnitsky-style human rights sanctions, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement.
Ms Amini’s death in custody six months ago sparked a women-led protest movement in Iran.
But protests were met with a violent crackdown. According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), hundreds have been killed and thousands have been arrested, while four young men have been hanged and more than a dozen others have been sentenced to death in connection to the protests.
Senator Wong said the sanctions would also target senior law enforcement and political and military figures involved in the continued oppression of the Iranian people.
Last week, Iran’s judiciary chief, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, said authorities had pardoned 22,000 people who took part in anti-government protests.
Iranian drones used in attacks on Ukraine
The federal government has also imposed sanctions on 13 Iranian individuals and one entity involved in the production and supply of drones to Russia.
“This listing demonstrates that there will be consequences for those who provide material support to Russia.
“Australia stands with the people of Iran and with the people of Ukraine.”
It came as Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to occupied Mariupol, just days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader and accused him of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine.
China’s President Xi Jinping is expected to travel to Moscow later today to meet with Mr Putin.
Mr Putin called Mr Xi his “good old friend” and said he welcomed “China’s willingness to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis”.
Renewed calls for IRGC to be listed as terrorist group
Shadow Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews welcomed the sanctions but called on the government to go further in a private member’s bill today.
“I … call on the Government to urgently take the necessary steps to formally categorise the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as an organisation involved in supporting and facilitating terrorism,” she said.
Her call echoed those of Iranian-Australian activists, fellow parliamentarians, and Kylie Moore-Gilbert, the Australian academic who was held in an Iranian prison for more than 800 days.
However, the Attorney-General’s department said that “as an organ of a nation-state, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is not the kind of entity that is covered by the terrorist organisation provisions in the criminal code”.
Ms Andrews said in the interests of Iranian-Australians and national security, the government should “find a solution to more properly sanction and condemn the IRGC”.
“The Foreign Minister claimed the government would ’employ every strategy at our disposal towards upholding human rights’ — however… that does not seem to be the case, and in my view, sanctions on individuals simply do not go far enough,” she added.
Ms Andrews pointed out that in a recent inquiry into the human rights implications of recent violence in Iran, many community members penned confidential submissions for fear of repercussions for their families still living in Iran.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has a well-known history of harassing, arresting and torturing family members of any Iranians who dare criticise the brutality of the regime,” she said in the private member’s bill.
The Attorney-General’s office, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of Home Affairs have been contacted for comment.
Source » abc.net.au