The US and Britain on Friday imposed sanctions on Iran on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the death of a Kurdish Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, while in the custody of Iran’s “morality police”, which sparked months of anti-government protests that faced often violent crackdown.
Amini, 22, died on 16 September last year after being arrested for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code. Her death sparked months of anti-government protests that marked the biggest show of opposition to Iranian authorities in years. Iranian security forces have been deployed in her home town in anticipation of unrest this weekend.
The US and Britain, along with the EU, have announced multiple rounds of sanctions against Iran, citing the widespread and often violent crackdown on protests after the death of Amini.
“Mahsa’s tragic and senseless death in the custody of Iran’s so-called ‘morality police’ sparked demonstrations across Iran that were met with unspeakable violence, mass arrests, systemic internet disruptions and censorship by the Iranian regime,” the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said in a statement.
“We will continue to take appropriate action, alongside our international partners, to hold accountable those who suppress Iranians’ exercise of human rights,” he said, adding that Canada, Australia and other partners were also imposing sanctions this week.
The US Treasury Department in a separate statement said it was imposing sanctions on more than two dozen people and entities it said were connected to Iran’s “violent suppression” of protests after Amini’s death, its crackdown on dissenting voices, and restrictions to internet access.
The action targets 29 people and groups, including 18 key members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces (LEF), as well as the head of Iran’s Prisons Organisation, the department said. It also targets officials linked to Iran’s internet blockade and several media outlets.
The sanctions target the LEF spokesperson Saeed Montazerolmehdi, multiple LEF and IRGC commanders, and the Prisons Organisation chief, Gholamali Mohammadi. The chief executive of Douran Software Technologies, Alireza Abedinejad, as well as the state-controlled media organisations Press TV, the Tasnim news agency and Fars News, were also among those sanctioned.
“The United States … will continue to take collective action against those who suppress Iranians’ exercise of their human rights,” the Treasury’s under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement.
Britain separately announced its sanctions targeting senior Iranian decision makers enforcing Tehran’s mandatory hijab law, including Iran’s minister for culture and Islamic guidance, his deputy, the mayor of Tehran and an Iranian police spokesperson.
Source » theguardian