Sanctioning Iran

Following the judicial murder of dual British-Iranian national Alireza Akbari (the accusation of judicial murder represents my words, not those of the government, but they have condemned it in almost equally strong terms) and egregious human rights violations against their own citizens, the UK government yesterday, announced further coordinated sanctions on key Iranian officials, targeting some of the most senior members of the Iranian regime.

  • The horrific violence the Iranian regime is inflicting on its own people is totally unacceptable and is rightly being met with the unified condemnation of the international community. 
  • That is why the UK has announced further sanctions against key Iranian officials including the Commander in Chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ground Forces, the Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, the Basij Resistance Force and their Deputy Commander. 
  • In close cooperation with our international partners Britain is sending a clear message through these sanctions that there will be no hiding place for those guilty of the worst human rights violations.

More details of the sanctions imposed yesterday: those targetted include:

  • Kiyumars Heidari, Commander in Chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ground Forces: Heidari has publicly admitted to his and his force’s involvement in the violent response to the November 2019 protests that led to the death of at least hundreds of protesters, and he continues to order the repression of protests today
  • Hossein Nejat, Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Sarallah HQ: Sarallah is the division of the IRGC responsible for the security of Tehran, where we have seen some of the most brutal violence against the Iranian people
  • the Basij Resistance Force: the Basij force within the IRGC are mobilised by the regime leadership to enforce the brutal repression on the streets of Iran
  • Salar Abnoush, Deputy Commander of the Basij: Abnoush has publicly described his command-and-control role over Basij forces and continues to lead their repressive tactics today


Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:

"Those sanctioned today, from the judicial figures using the death penalty for political ends to the thugs beating protestors on the streets, are at the heart of the regime’s brutal repression of the Iranian people.

The UK and our partners have sent a clear message through these sanctions that there will be no hiding place for those guilty of the worst human rights violations."

The UK has now imposed 50 new sanctions in response to human rights violations by the Iranian regime since Mahsa Amini’s death and will continue to take a wide range of actions to hold the regime to account.

These sanctions impose an asset freeze and UK travel ban on the individuals sanctioned and send a wider signal on the UK’s commitment to backing condemnation with action.

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