The US, UK and European Union on Monday toughened their sanctions against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as part of new restrictions on Tehran for alleged human rights violations.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced a travel ban and assets freeze on four individuals and the IRGC “in its entirety.”
Brussels added eight individuals, including a hardline lawmaker, a regional IRGC commander and officials at its investment arm, to its sanctions list, as well as mobile operator Ariantel.
The telecoms firm is accused of having helped the authorities track down protesters.
Cleverly said the ban was made in coordination with the EU and the United States, which have both ratcheted up their curbs on Iran in recent months after a hardline crackdown.
The UK has come under repeated pressure from members of parliament to extend sanctions on the IRGC and proscribe it as a terrorist organization.
More than 70 Iranian officials and entities have been made subject to UK asset freezes and travel bans since October last year.
The latest involve four IRGC commanders “under whose leadership IRGC forces have opened fire on unarmed protesters resulting in numerous deaths, including of children,” the foreign office said.
They had also “arbitrarily detained and tortured protesters,” it added.
“The Iranian regime are responsible for the brutal repression of the Iranian people and for exporting bloodshed around the world,” Cleverly said.
“That’s why we have more than 300 sanctions in place on Iran, including on the IRGC in its entirety.”
The 27-nation EU has imposed seven rounds of sanctions on Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini, who died after being arrested for flouting a strict dress code on women wearing headscarves.
The bloc has targeted more than 150 individuals, companies and agencies.
In response to previous restrictions, Iran has imposed its own sanctions on the UK and the EU in a tit-for-tat move.
Washington rolled out its own set of sanctions against four top officials in the IRGC. “The Iranian people deserve freedom of expression without the threat of violent retaliation and censorship from those in power,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson. “Along with our key allies and partners, such as the United Kingdom, the United States will continue to take action against those responsible for the regime’s violent repression and censorship.”