UK sanctions Iranian officials over protests crackdown
LONDON (AP) — Britain on Monday imposed sanctions on Iran’s “morality police” and several security officials in response to the violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.
Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by police in the capital, Tehran, for allegedly not adhering to Iran’s strict Islamic dress code.
The Foreign Office said it was imposing asset freezes and travel bans on the “morality police in its entirety, as well as both its chief, Mohammed Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi, and the head of the Tehran division, Haj Ahmed Mirzaei.”
Also on the list are Gholamreza Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Basij force; Hassan Karami, commander of the NAJA special forces unit of the Iranian police; and Hossein Ashtari, commander-in-chief of the Iranian police.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the sanctions “send a clear message to the Iranian authorities — we will hold you to account for your repression of women and girls, and for the shocking violence you have inflicted on your own people.”
Demonstrations continue across Iran over the death on Sept. 16 of Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police in Tehran. Iran’s government insists Amini wasn’t mistreated, but her family says her body showed bruises and other signs of beating.