US Imposes New Sanctions on 29 Iranian Individuals, Medias
Story Code : 1081887
The United States has imposed a new round of sanctions on more than two dozen Iranian individuals and entities, including the English-language Press TV news network, over groundless accusations of “human rights abuses” on the eve of the anniversary of Western-backed riots in the country.
The US Department of Treasury announced in a press release on its website on Friday that the bans targeted 29 individuals and entities in connection with what it claimed was “violent suppression of nationwide protests” following the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian woman of Kurdish descent who lost her life in police custody in the capital Tehran September last year.
The sanctions were levied against 18 top members of Iran’s security forces, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the police as well as the head of the Iranian Prisons' Organization. The bans were also imposed on three individuals and one company in connection with Iran’s telecoms ministry.
The Tehran-based Press TV news channel and the two media outlets of Fars News and Tasnim and three of their senior officials were also targeted with sanctions.
The restrictive measures, including financial sanctions and travel bans, targeted four individuals and three entities over what Canberra claimed were “human rights violations” in Iran.
The British government also on Friday added five designations to its Iran sanctions list, targeting four individuals and one commercial entity over what it claimed were “human rights” violations.
Among the targeted individuals were Iran’s police spokesman General Saeed Montazer-al-Mahdi and Tehran’s Mayor Alireza Zakani.
Also on Friday, the European Union on Friday added four Iranian officials and six entities to its sanctions list to mark the riot's anniversary.
The 27-nation bloc has already imposed visa bans and asset freezes on around 170 Iranian individuals, companies, and agencies over the accusations of “rights abuse.”
The four officials targeted included an IRGC commander, two regional police chiefs, and a prison boss.
Tasnim news agency, four prisons, and Iran's Supreme Council of Cyberspace were also placed on the blacklist.
Riots broke out in Iran in mid-September after 22-year-old Amini fainted at a police station in Tehran and was pronounced dead three days later in a hospital. An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization concluded that Amini’s death was caused by illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.
Despite clarification on the circumstances surrounding her death, protests erupted in the country, which later turned violent and led to attacks on security officers and acts of vandalism against public property as well as police vehicles and ambulances.
Iran’s intelligence community said several countries, including the United States and Britain, had used their spy and propaganda apparatuses to provoke violent riots in the country. London, in particular, is home to several anti-Iran TV networks, including Iran International, Manoto, and BBC Persian, which broadcast a steady stream of misinformation encouraging the Iranian youth to join the rioters during the wave of unrest.
The foreign-backed violent riots claimed dozens of lives from both security forces and innocent people.
The latest sanctions are the US Treasury’s 13th round of designations in connection with the foreign-backed riots that began last September.
The sanctions freeze the US-based assets of the targeted individuals and companies and ban Americans from dealing with them.
The fresh US sanctions came two days after the Australian government imposed bans on a number of Iranian individuals and entities, including Press TV, in yet another attack spearheaded by the West against freedom of speech in Iran.