United States hits Iran with new sanctions over crackdown on protests

The United States has imposed sanctions on the financial arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and senior Iranian officials, intensifying pressure on Tehran for its crackdown on protests.

The move, taken in coordination with Britain and the European Union, is the latest response to Iran’s deadly crackdown on the unrest following the death of Iranian Kurdish girl Mahsa Amini in police custody in September.

The protests by Iranians from all walks of life mark one of the boldest challenges to the ruling theocracy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran accuses the West of fomenting the unrest, which security forces have met with a murderous violence.

Monday’s action targets the IRGC’s Cooperative Foundation, described in a US Treasury statement as a “key economic pillar…which funds much of the regime’s brutal repression; as well as senior security officials who coordinate Tehran’s repression at the national and provincial levels”.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Treasury described the IRGC Cooperative Foundation as an economic conglomerate created by senior officials of the group to manage its investments and presence in sectors of the Iranian economy.

He accused the foundation of being “a source of corruption and corruption”, and said its funds had supported the IRGC’s military adventures abroad.

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