US joins UK and EU in new set of sanctions against Iran for human rights violations

Archive – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C. – LENIN NOLLY / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The United States has sanctioned on Monday, joining the United Kingdom and the European Union, ten individuals and one Iranian entity in retaliation for human rights violations committed during the protests that have erupted in Iran since September.

«This is the ninth round (of sanctions) targeting actors responsible for the repression of peaceful protesters since the nationwide protests began in 2022,» U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Specifically, those sanctioned by the Treasury Department are the deputy intelligence minister, Naser Rashedi; the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Qom, Hosein Tanavar; the commander of the IRGC in the western region in Kermanshah, Mohamed Nazar Azimi; the deputy commander of the western region, Kourosh Asiabani; and the commander of the IRCG in Isfahan, Mojtaba Fada.

Rashedi is part of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), which is linked to «a wide range of human rights abuses» in the context of the protests, including beatings, sexual abuse, surveillance, censorship or forced confessions.

For their part, according to a statement released by the State Department, both Azimi and Asiabani command IRGC units, «which allegedly committed some of the worst acts by Iranian security forces since the beginning of the protests in September 2022.»

«The IRGC has shelled vehicles attempting to deliver blood bags to the wounded in local hospitals, preventing their delivery. Fada, the IRGC commander of Isfahan province and a member of its provincial security council, has overseen the crackdown on regime opponents in Isfahan,» he has detailed.

The U.S. has also sanctioned the IRGC Cooperative Foundation, which is a «source of corruption and bribery» maintained by senior members of the organization, including board chairman Ali Asghar Noruzi, vice chairman Seyyed Amin Ala Emami Tabatabai and three other board members. All of them have been sanctioned.