EU imposes new round of sanctions on Iran
The European Union imposes fresh sanctions targeting high ranking Iranian officials over allegations of "abuses" against rioters.
The European Union imposed a fresh round of sanctions on Iran on Monday, marking Brussels' fifth round of sanctions against Tehran.
The sanctions affected two organizations and 32 Iranian individuals, including the country's culture and education ministers, intelligence officials, and lawmakers, the Associated Press reported.
Iranian Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili was sanctioned and Education Minister Yousef Nouri was added to the blacklist.
Judges, prosecutors, and senior prison officials were also included in the new sanctions, with Brussels claiming they had a hand in alleged "abuses" against rioters after Iran experienced major riots that undermined the country's stability and were proven to be backed by Western and Israeli intelligence.
In the latest round of sanctions, Brussels imposed a new package of sanctions on Iran that affected 18 individuals and 19 entities that the EU also claimed were responsible for the alleged "crackdown" on the riots.
The sanctions went into effect swiftly after the publication was issued and hours after the European Union's foreign ministers agreed on the sanctions package.
According to the bloc's top diplomats, the sanctions were imposed on Iran due to Tehran committing "violations of human rights" in its response to the large-scale riots.
Moreover, the European Parliament adopted in January a resolution calling for more sanctions to be imposed on Iran over alleged human rights violations of human rights that Iran is claimed to have committed during the riots.
"The IRGC is a part of the military power and armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has been the source of meritorious service with a brilliant record in the defense of the glorious land of Iran for more than 40 years," they said.
Moreover, the top officials emphasized the need to advance the Islamic Republic's development goals with the coordination and cooperation of their respective branches, as well as all the elements of the Islamic Republic.
In retaliation, a member of the Iranian parliament's presidium, Ahmad Naderi, said that the Iranian parliament would enforce legislative amendments that would recognize armed forces of EU member states under the category of terrorist organizations if the EU proceeds to place the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) on its terrorist list.
Naderi was quoted by Iran's ISNA news agency as saying: "The parliament has prepared... draft amendments to the law on responsive measures to US' recognition of the IRGC as a terrorist organization... The draft will affect all EU member states, their armed forces, their organizations, and institutions that will put the IRGC on the terrorist list."
Iran's Intelligence Ministry and the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC issued a statement in late October taking a jab at the role of foreign spy agencies, especially the CIA, in puppeteering the riots in Iran that took place in September.
"Numerous examples and undeniable references of the all-out role of the American terrorist regime in designing, implementing, and maintaining” the riots were exposed as part of “continuous and precise” intelligence monitoring in the past year, supported by documents, the statement read.
The statement pointed fingers at the CIA as it "played the main role” while being buddy-buddy with the espionage services of the UK, "Israel" and Saudi Arabia.
"The main perpetrators were the CIA, the British and Saudi intelligence services, the Israeli Mossad, and the intelligence services of other countries," it read. "the planning and the execution of the majority of the riots were carried out by the Mossad in collaboration with terrorist organizations."
Following Iran's statements, US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief William Burns has arrived in "Tel Aviv" to hold talks with Israeli officials.
Reportedly, the initial agenda of the CIA-Israeli meeting was to discuss Iran's nuclear program and the issue of military cooperation between Moscow and Tehran.