US, UK on a sanctions spree targeting Iranian officials, media
The US and the UK coordinate fresh anti-Iran sanctions with Canada, Australia, and other partners.
The US Treasury Department introduced on Friday new sanctions against 29 Iranian individuals and entities, including 18 security officials and three state-sponsored news outlets, for their alleged "suppression" of anti-Iran protests a year ago.
The sanctions were coordinated with the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other partners, a release issued by the Treasury noted.
According to the release, the sanctions target key members of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRCG) and Law Enforcement Forces (LEF); the head of the Prisons Organization; three individuals and one company allegedly involved in assisting with censorship and blocking of internet access; three IRGC and government-sponsored media outlets - Fars News, Tasnim News, and Press TV - and three senior media officials.
The sanctions also target Tasnim’s CEO Majid Gholizadeh, Tasnim’s head of the board of directors Hamidreza Moghadam Far, and Fars CEO Payam Tirandaz, the release indicated.
The Treasury Department also sanctioned Iran’s Prisons Organization head Gholamali Mohammadi.
Also sanctioned are Alireza Abedinejad, CEO of Douran Software Technologies, and Amer Najafianpour and Soheila Kasaei, the chair and vice-chair of Douran’s board of directors, the release added.
Elsewhere, the US Department of the Treasury sanctioned the company Yaftar Pazhohan Pishtaz Rayanesh for allegedly working with the Iranian government to block VPN addresses and design and implement tools to crawl through leading search engines to censor video and textual content, as per the release.
In the same context, the UK government also announced on Friday sanctions targeting several Iranian officials, including the Culture Minister and the mayor of Tehran.
The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the new measures "focus on senior Iranian decision makers responsible for drafting and implementing Iran's mandatory hijab legislation."
The sanctions also target Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili, his deputy Mohammad Hashemi, Tehran Mayor Alireza Zakani, and Iranian police Spokesperson Saeed Montazer Al-Mahdi.
The FCDO said the new measures are part of coordinated sanctions of Britain, Canada, Australia, and the United States.
This comes on the eve of the first anniversary of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, whose death sparked Western-backed, funded riots and armed insurgencies in Iran, with incitement also coming from Western media outlets with the aim of undermining the nation.
Anti-Iran rioters claim Amini died after she was beaten under police custody for an alleged breach of the country's dress code for women. However, Iran's Legal Medicine Organization has confirmed that her cause of death was from complications she endured as a result of a craniopharyngioma surgery at the age of eight.
On Wednesday, Major General Hossein Salami, the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), stressed that enemies can no longer threaten Iran with a military option or economic sanctions since they have imposed full-fledged embargoes on the country, but they have only resulted in Tehran's incredible progress in various fields of technology and innovation.
According to Salami, the adversaries' intentions to isolate Iran have also failed since everyone can witness the country's wide political and economic relations with nations ranging from the Far East to Africa and Latin America.
"You can also see Iran’s influence in (organizations like) BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization," he added.
The IRGC commander said enemies wanted to destabilize Iran, but this scheme was defeated owing to the Iranian people's alertness and the guidance of Iranian leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei.