Iran slapped with fresh sanctions for crackdown

Iran slapped with fresh sanctions for crackdown
Protests have swept Iran since Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died after her arrest for alleged breach of strict dress code. (FIle/AFP)
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Updated 11 December 2022

Iran slapped with fresh sanctions for crackdown

Iran slapped with fresh sanctions for crackdown
  • Alarm over Moscow-Tehran defense ties

JEDDAH: Iran has been slapped with new sanctions by Australia, the UK and Canada in response to the regime’s human rights violations.

Australia’s foreign minister said on Saturday the government would place targeted sanctions on Russia and Iran. Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement Australia was imposing Magnitsky-style sanctions on 13 individuals and two entities, including Iran’s Morality Police and Basij Resistance Force, and six Iranians involved in the crackdown on protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody in September.

In an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald, Wong said the sanctions applied to Sadegh Hosseini, whom she described as a senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

He was being listed for his alleged role in “indiscriminate use of violence against protesters.”

“The Iranian regime’s flagrant and widespread disregard for the human rights of its own people has appalled Australians, and the perpetrators must be held accountable,” Wong wrote in the newspaper.

In addition to human rights sanctions, Wong said Australia was placing further targeted financial sanctions on three Iranians and one Iranian business for supplying drones to Russia for use against Ukraine.

Britain announced sanctions against 30 targets, including officials in Iran whom it accused of pursuing “egregious sentences” against protesters.

Canada imposed sanctions on 22 senior members of Iran’s judiciary, prison system and police, as well top aides to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

European diplomats said the EU was also set to impose more punitive measures on Iran over the deadly crackdown that has killed at least 458 people, including more than 60 children, according to Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is accusing Russia of moving to provide advanced military assistance to Iran, including air defense systems, helicopters and fighter jets, part of deepening cooperation between the two nations as Tehran provides drones to support Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby cited US intelligence assessments for the allegations, saying Russia was offering Iran “an unprecedented level of military and technical support that is transforming their relationship into a full-fledged defense partnership.”

Kirby said Russia and Iran were considering standing up a drone assembly line in Russia for the Ukraine conflict, while Russia was training Iranian pilots on the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter and Iran could receive deliveries of the plane within the year.

“These fighter planes will significantly strengthen Iran’s air force relative to its regional neighbors,” Kirby said.