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Friday, May 17, 2024

Iran slams new Western sanctions on Amini death anniversary

The United States, Britain and the European Union announced new sanctions on multiple Iranian individuals and entities on Friday, the eve of the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death in police custody.

Iran has hit out at Western countries including arch-foe the United States over what it called their “illegal” decision to impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The United States, Britain and the European Union announced new sanctions on multiple Iranian individuals and entities on Friday, the eve of the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody.

Read more: Year after protests, Iran even more toxic for US

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died on September 16, 2022 after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani slammed the Western countries’ “illegal and undiplomatic actions” in a statement issued late Friday.

Kanani also condemned the “interventionist actions and statements and ridiculous and hypocritical” displays of support for the protest movement.

He warned European diplomats against what he called such “unconstructive behaviour” which “does not serve their interests”.

Friday’s US sanctions targeted 25 Iranian officials, three media outlets and an internet censorship firm onto their sanctions blacklist, saying all were linked to Tehran’s suppression of protests after Amini’s death.

Read more: Saudi, Iran exchange ambassadors after years-long rupture

Most were regional commanders of the national police force and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Also sanctioned was Gholamali Mohammadi, the head of Iran’s Prisons Organisation, who the US Treasury alleged presides over serious human rights abuses including torture and rape.

Three media outlets — state-controlled Press TV as well as Tasnim and Fars news agencies — were also placed on the blacklist.

Britain’s sanctions included Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili, his deputy Mohammad Hashemi, Tehran mayor Alireza Zakani and Iranian police spokesman Saeed Montazer Almehdi.

The European Union added to its own blacklist four Iranian officials — a Revolutionary Guards commander, two regional police chiefs and the head of a prison.

The sanctions were also coordinated with Canada and Australia.

Last year’s Amini protests saw hundreds of people killed, including dozens of security forces, and thousands arrested in what Tehran labelled as “riots” fomented by foreign governments.