US joins Europe with fresh sanctions over Iran protest crackdown | Protests News

The US measures, taken in coordination with the EU and the UK, target Iranian officials accused of suppressing the protests.

The United States has joined its allies in Europe in imposing new sanctions on Iranian officials and entities following Tehran’s crackdown on ongoing anti-government protests.

The US Treasury Department said on Monday that its sanctions, taken in coordination with the European Union and the United Kingdom, targeted the Cooperative Foundation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and five of its board members. administration, as well as four senior IRGC commanders.

Iran’s deputy intelligence and security minister, Naser Rashedi, was also blacklisted.

“Together with our partners, we will continue to hold the Iranian regime accountable as long as it relies on violence, sham trials, the execution of protesters and other means to repress its people,” the head of the ministry said. Treasury Department Brian E Nelson in a statement. .

The sanctions are the latest move by the United States and its European allies to penalize the Iranian government for its crackdown on protests that erupted in September last year after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini. .

Amini died in police custody after being detained by the country’s “morality police” for allegedly violating Iran’s strict dress code for women.

His death sparked mass protests across the country, which were harshly suppressed by Iranian authorities. Foreign-based human rights organizations say more than 500 people have been killed in the unrest, while at least four people have been executed in connection with the protests.

Earlier on Monday, the EU placed 37 Iranian officials and entities on its sanctions list for what EU officials described as “the brutal and disproportionate use of force by Iranian authorities against peaceful protesters”.

However, the EU measures failed to designate the IRGC as a “terrorist” organization – a move that Iran says would violate international law.

The UK also imposed sanctions on other Iranian individuals and entities on Monday, including an asset freeze on Iranian Deputy Attorney General Ahmad Fazelian, who the UK Foreign Office says is responsible for an unfair justice system. who uses the death penalty for political purposes.

“Those being sanctioned today, from judicial figures using the death penalty for political purposes to thugs beating protesters in the streets, are at the heart of the regime’s brutal crackdown on the Iranian people,” said the British minister. of Foreign Affairs James Cleverly in a statement.

The US Treasury Department said its new sanctions target a “key economic pillar of the IRGC, which funds much of the regime’s brutal repression; as well as senior security officials coordinating Tehran’s crackdown at the national and provincial levels.”

Washington has alleged that agents of Iran’s Intelligence and Security Ministry committed abuses aimed at suppressing the protests, including forced confessions, surveillance and sexual abuse.

He also accused the IRGC of continuing to aggressively suppress peaceful protests and said it had played “a leading role in suppressing protests through massive human rights violations”.

The measures freeze all U.S.-based assets of sanctioned individuals and groups and generally bar people in the United States from doing business with them.

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

Iran has brushed off criticism of its human rights record and accused foreign powers such as the United States of fomenting unrest inside the country.

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