The Government of the United Kingdom has announced on Monday new sanctions against three senior officials of the Iranian Morality Police and Revolutionary Guards in retaliation to the wave of protests that has been shaking the country for weeks over the death of young Mahsa Amini in custody for improperly wearing the veil.
“These sanctions send a clear message to the Iranian authorities: we will hold them to account for their repression of women and girls and for the appalling violence they have inflicted on their own people,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly explained in a statement.
Specifically, the sanctions fall on the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Basij paramilitary force, Gholamreza Soleimani; the commander of the Special Forces unit within the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Disciplinary Force (NAJA), Hasan Karami; and the chief commander of the Iranian Police, Hosein Ashtari.
“The Basij force, NAJA’s Special Forces Unit and the Iranian Police in general have played a central role in cracking down on protests across Iran in recent weeks, as well as fuel-related protests in 2019,” the government said.
UK has highlighted that Iranian security forces have used ammunition against students in the latest unrest at Sharif University and has denounced that many of the bodies of protesters “have been buried without the families’ knowledge.”
It should be recalled that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is the elite military and ideological corps of the Islamic Republic of Iran and was created after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It controls important sectors of the Iranian economy and has an important influence on the political system of the Asian country.
The NGO Iran Human Rights has already put the number of people killed in protests, including 19 children, by Iranian security forces’ crackdown on protests in the country at 185 for the death in custody of young Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini and has denounced in the last hours the killing of 16-year-old protester Sarina Esmailzadeh by a beating by security forces.