US, UK, Canada issue new Iran sanctions ahead of anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death

US, UK, Canada issue new Iran sanctions ahead of anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death
A general view shows the Iranian capital Tehran on Jan. 7, 2023, with the Iranian flag fluttering in the wind. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 16 September 2023
Follow

US, UK, Canada issue new Iran sanctions ahead of anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death

US, UK, Canada issue new Iran sanctions ahead of anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death
  • US sanctions target 29 people and groups, including 18 key members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces
  • Britain, Canada and the EU separately announced its sanctions targeting senior Iranian decision-makers

WASHINGTON: The US, Britain and Canada on Friday imposed more sanctions on Iran ahead of the one-year anniversary of the death of Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini whilst in Iran’s morality police custody, which sparked months of anti-government protests that faced an often violent crackdown.
Amini, 22, died on Sept. 16 last year after being arrested for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code. Her death sparked months of anti-government protests that marked the biggest show of opposition to Iranian authorities in years. Iranian security forces have been deployed in her hometown in anticipation of unrest this weekend.
The US, Britain, and Canada, along with the European Union, have announced multiple rounds of sanctions against Iran, citing the widespread and often violent crackdown on protests after the death of Amini.
“Mahsa’s tragic and senseless death in the custody of Iran’s so-called ‘Morality Police’ sparked demonstrations across Iran that were met with unspeakable violence, mass arrests, systemic Internet disruptions and censorship by the Iranian regime,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

 


“We will continue to take appropriate action, alongside our international partners, to hold accountable those who suppress Iranians’ exercise of human rights,” he said, adding that Canada, Australia, and other partners were also imposing sanctions this week.
The US Treasury Department in a separate statement said it imposed sanctions on more than two dozen people and entities it said were connected to Iran’s “violent suppression” of protests in the wake of Amini’s death its crack down on dissenting voices and restrictions to Internet.
The action targets 29 people and groups, including 18 key members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces, as well as the head of Iran’s Prisons Organizations, the department said. They also target officials linked to Iran’s Internet blockade and several media outlets.
The sanctions target LEF spokesperson Saeed Montazerolmehdi, multiple LEF and IRGC commanders, and Iran’s Prisons Organization chief Gholamali Mohammadi.
Douran Software Technologies CEO Alireza Abedinejad as well as state-controlled media organizations Press TV, Tasnim News Agency and Fars News were also among those sanctioned.
“The United States ... will continue to take collective action against those who suppress Iranians’ exercise of their human rights,” the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that Washington would have more sanctions in coming days.
“We’ll continue to sanction Iranian behavior, whether it is flouting basic norms of human rights contained in the Universal Declaration or it’s relative to the work that Iran is doing to provide weapons to Russia to kill Ukrainian civilians, and we’ll have more designations on that in the coming days,” Sullivan told reporters.
The US has taken several actions targeting the supply of Iranian drones to Russia, reflecting its concerns about Iranian-Russian military cooperation and Russia’s use of Iranian drones in its conflict with Ukraine.
Britain separately announced its sanctions targeting senior Iranian decision makers, including Iran’s minister for culture and Islamic guidance, his deputy, the mayor of Tehran and an Iranian police spokesman.

 

 


Canada’s sanctions package announced on Friday, which was its fourteenth since October last year against Iran, listed restrictions against six individuals. They included members of the IRGC and the “Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution,” the Canadian government said.
The EU added four Iranian officials to its sanctions blacklist over a crackdown on demonstrators.
The 27-nation bloc has already imposed visa bans and asset freezes on around 170 Iranian individuals, companies and agencies over the repression.
The four officials targeted included a commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, two regional police chiefs and a prison boss.
Four prisons, a news agency associated with the Guards and the Supreme Council of Cyberspace, which monitors the Internet, were also placed on the blacklist.
In a statement, the EU’s 27 nations said they “reaffirm their strong support for the fundamental rights of Iranian women and men and their aspirations.”
“We continue to consider all appropriate options at our disposal to address any issues of concern,” they said.
(With Reuters and AFP)

 


Yemen’s Houthis say they will continue sinking British ships

Yemen’s Houthis say they will continue sinking British ships
Updated 15 sec ago
Follow

Yemen’s Houthis say they will continue sinking British ships

Yemen’s Houthis say they will continue sinking British ships
  • The US military confirmed on Saturday that the UK-owned vessel Rubymar had sunk after being struck by an anti-ship ballistic missile
CAIRO: Yemen’s Houthis vowed on Sunday to continue targeting British ships in the Gulf of Aden following the sinking of UK-owned vessel Rubymar.
The US military confirmed on Saturday that the UK-owned vessel Rubymar had sunk after being struck by an anti-ship ballistic missile fired by Yemeni Houthi militants on Feb. 18.
“Yemen will continue to sink more British ships, and any repercussions or other damages will be added to Britain’s bill,” Hussein Al-Ezzi, deputy foreign minister in the Houthi-led government, said in a post on X.
“It is a rogue state that attacks Yemen and partners with America in sponsoring ongoing crimes against civilians in Gaza.”

Born and died during Gaza war, infant twins are buried in Rafah

Born and died during Gaza war, infant twins are buried in Rafah
Updated 14 min 58 sec ago
Follow

Born and died during Gaza war, infant twins are buried in Rafah

Born and died during Gaza war, infant twins are buried in Rafah
  • The twins — a boy and a girl — were among five children killed in the strike on a house in Rafah
  • The members of the Abu Anza family killed in the strike were lined up in black body bags

RAFAH: Born a few weeks into the Gaza war, infant twins Wesam and Naeem Abu Anza were buried on Sunday, the youngest of 14 members of the same family whom Gaza health authorities say were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah overnight.
Their mother, Rania Abu Anza, held one of the twins, its tiny body wrapped in a white shroud, to her cheek and stroked its head during the funeral on Sunday. A mourner held the second baby close by, pale blue pyjamas visible beneath a shroud.
“My heart is gone,” wept Abu Anza, whose husband was also killed, as mourners comforted her. She resisted when asked to release the body of one of the babies ahead of burial. “Leave her with me,” she said, in a low voice.
The twins — a boy and a girl — were among five children killed in the strike on a house in Rafah, according to the health ministry in Gaza. Abu Anza said she had given birth to them — her first children — after 11 years of marriage.
“We were asleep, we were not shooting and we were not fighting. What is their fault? What is their fault, what is her fault?” Abu Anza said.
“How will I continue to live now?“
Relatives said the twins had been born some four months ago, about a month into the war which began on Oct. 7, when Hamas stormed Israel, in an attack that killed 1,200 people and resulted in another 253 being abducted, according to Israeli tallies.
Israel’s offensive has killed more than 30,000 people in the Gaza Strip since then, according to Gaza health authorities, laying waste to the territory and uprooting most of its population.
The members of the Abu Anza family killed in the strike were lined up in black body bags. A man wept over the body of one of the dead, a child wearing pyjamas. “God have mercy on her, God have mercy on her,” said another man, consoling him.
Abu Anza said she had been wishing for a ceasefire before Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month which begins around March 10.
US President Joe Biden has expressed hope one will be agreed by then. “We were preparing for Ramadan, how am I supposed to live my life? How?” she said.


Arab foreign ministers meet in Riyadh to discuss Gaza war

Arab foreign ministers meet in Riyadh to discuss Gaza war
Updated 35 min 28 sec ago
Follow

Arab foreign ministers meet in Riyadh to discuss Gaza war

Arab foreign ministers meet in Riyadh to discuss Gaza war
  • Meeting held on the sidelines of GCC ministerial session
  • Foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt and Morocco discuss Gaza

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council carried its 159th ministerial session in Riyadh on Sunday, while separate meetings were held involving the foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.

Joint ministerial meeting held on the sidelines between the GCC and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that what is happening in Gaza is a systematic plan to liquidate the Palestinian cause. Adding that "Security solutions to the conflict have brought nothing but destruction to the region, and the escalation in Gaza extended to the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab"

Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Jasem Mohammed Al-Budaiwi firmly reiterated the collective stance of the GCC nations, denouncing the severe Israeli infringements of international humanitarian law in Gaza, particularly its consistent and direct targeting of civilians. Al-Budaiwi also underscored the immediate need for a ceasefire.

Al-Budaiwi also pointed out GCC rejection of any measure that would affect Egypt’s right to the Nile waters and stressed the necessity to reach an agreement on the Renaissance Dam.


Arab foreign ministers meet in Riyadh to discuss Gaza war

Arab foreign ministers meet in Riyadh to discuss Gaza war
Updated 03 March 2024
Follow

Arab foreign ministers meet in Riyadh to discuss Gaza war

Arab foreign ministers meet in Riyadh to discuss Gaza war

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council carried its 159th ministerial session in Riyadh on Sunday, while separate meetings were held involving the foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.

Joint ministerial meeting held on the sidelines between the GCC and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that what is happening in Gaza is a systematic plan to liquidate the Palestinian cause. Adding that "Security solutions to the conflict have brought nothing but destruction to the region, and the escalation in Gaza extended to the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab"

Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Jasem Mohammed Al-Budaiwi firmly reiterated the collective stance of the GCC nations, denouncing the severe Israeli infringements of international humanitarian law in Gaza, particularly its consistent and direct targeting of civilians. Al-Budaiwi also underscored the immediate need for a ceasefire.

Al-Budaiwi also pointed out GCC rejection of any measure that would affect Egypt’s right to the Nile waters and stressed the necessity to reach an agreement on the Renaissance Dam.

 


Hamas, Qatari, US envoys in Cairo for Gaza talks: state-linked media

Hamas, Qatari, US envoys in Cairo for Gaza talks: state-linked media
Updated 17 min 31 sec ago
Follow

Hamas, Qatari, US envoys in Cairo for Gaza talks: state-linked media

Hamas, Qatari, US envoys in Cairo for Gaza talks: state-linked media
  • A Hamas official says a ceasefire in Gaza may be secured if Israel accepts group's demands
  • Meanwhile, the Israeli military intensified operations in Khan Younis

CAIRO: Delegations from Hamas, Qatar and the United States have arrived in Egypt for “a new round of negotiations” toward a truce in the Gaza war, state-linked Al-Qahera News reported Sunday.
Cairo, Doha and Washington have mediated in weeks of talks aiming to pause the fighting in the almost five-months-old war between Israel and Hamas sparked by the October 7 attack.
Their goal has been to secure a truce by the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on March 10 or 11, but hopes have been dampened by a series of failed talks since a one-week pause in November.
A Hamas source on Sunday told AFP its delegation to Cairo is being led by senior leader Khalil Al-Haya.
“The delegation will meet Egyptian mediators and deliver the group’s response to the new Paris proposal,” the source said, in reference to negotiations held last month in the French capital with Israel’s presence.
The United States regards Hamas as a “terrorist” organization, and in previous talks Egyptian officials have functioned as the key conduit between US envoys and Hamas, as well as between Israel and Hamas.
The negotiations have centered on a proposal to pause the fighting for six weeks and for Hamas to free hostages in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, and greater aid deliveries.
The war began on October 7 with an unprecedented Hamas attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official figures.
Gaza militants also abducted 250 hostages, of whom 130 remain in captivity according to Israel, a figure that includes 31 presumed dead.
Israel’s retaliatory offensive on the besieged Palestinian territory has killed 30,410 people, mostly women and children, the Gaza health ministry reported Sunday.