Iran yesterday strongly condemned new sanctions imposed by the EU and Britain, and said that it would retaliate, after the West stepped up pressure on Iran over its crackdown on protests.
“The Islamic Republic will soon announce the list of new sanctions against the human rights violators of EU and England,” Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said in a statement.
The EU imposed sanctions on more than 30 Iranian officials and organizations, including units of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), blaming them for a “brutal” crackdown on unrest and other human rights abuses.
Foreign ministers from the EU’s 27 member countries agreed on the measures at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.
Those sanctions targeted units and senior officials of the IRGC across Iran, including in Sunni-populated areas where the state crackdown has been intense, a list published in the EU’s Official Journal showed.
The US also issued new sanctions against Iran, reflecting a deterioration in the West’s already dire relations with Tehran.
The sanctions are the latest response to Iran’s deadly clampdown on unrest after the death of young Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody in September last year.
The US targeted the IRGC and senior officials in its action, which imposed sanctions on the corps’ Cooperative Foundation and five of its board members, Iranian Deputy Minister of Intelligence and Security Naser Rashedi, and four senior IRGC commanders in Iran.
The US Department of the Treasury said the action targets a “key economic pillar of the IRGC, which funds much of the regime’s brutal suppression; as well as senior security officials coordinating Tehran’s crackdown at the national and provincial levels.”
Washington has accused the IRGC of continuing to aggressively crack down on peaceful demonstrations and said it has played “a leading role in suppressing protests through extensive human rights abuses.”
The IRGC was set up shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect the Shiite clerical ruling system. It has an estimated 125,000-strong military with army, navy and air units, and commands the Basij religious militia often used in crackdowns.
The Treasury described the IRGC Cooperative Foundation — already under US sanctions — as an economic conglomerate established by senior officials of the group to manage its investments and presence in sectors of Iran’s economy.
It accused the IRGC Cooperative Foundation of having become “a wellspring of corruption and graft,” and said funds from it have supported the IRGC’s military adventures abroad.
“Along with our partners, we will continue to hold the Iranian regime accountable so long as it relies upon violence, sham trials, the execution of protesters and other means of suppressing its people,” US Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.
He used to preside over Latin America’s largest country and its 214 million people. Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro now lives in a small Florida town and eats alone in a fast-food restaurant. Bolsonaro, 67, has found an unusual refuge in the US, where he arrived in late December last year, several days before his supporters stormed government buildings in Brasilia in an attempt to overturn the election victory of his rival, Brazilain President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. At home, Bolsonaro is being investigated over his alleged involvement in the unrest, which he denies. From the lavish presidential palace, Bolsonaro, a political
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee (李家超) yesterday unveiled a promotion campaign that would include 500,000 free flights to lure back visitors, businesses and investors to the financial hub after more than three years of tough COVID-19 curbs. The “Hello Hong Kong” campaign was launched with dancers and flashing neon lights in the territory’s main convention center, next to its famous harbor, with a backdrop bearing the slogan in various languages including Russian and Spanish. Lee, speaking in English, said the campaign would show that the territory was open for tourism, and was aimed at boosting business and investment in the Chinese
RISING RISK: With no communication between nations flying jets closely over the South China Sea, one mistake by a pilot could quickly escalate a situation, an expert said The China Coast Guard (CCG) maintained near-daily patrols at key features across the disputed South China Sea last year, ramping up its presence as tensions over the waterway with Southeast Asian neighbors remain high, new tracking data shows. Patrols in the waters surrounding the Vanguard Bank off Vietnam, an area known for its oil and gas reserves and the site of repeated standoffs between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels, more than doubled to 310 days last year, the Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said. The number of days Chinese ships patrolled near Second Thomas Shoal (Renai Shoal, 仁愛暗) in the Spratly Islands (Nansha
There could be some relief to 150,000 commuters who endure hours-long waits to cross the road border between Malaysia and Singapore, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported. The Malaysian government has proposed a “single clearance system” to ease traffic along the Johor-Singapore Causeway, the report said. Such waits often require cross-border workers on the Malaysian side to wake up as early as 4am to get to work on time in Singapore. The proposal, still in its initial stages, would involve Malaysian immigration officials being stationed on the Singapore side of the causeway, with Singaporean officials stationed on the Malaysian side, in the southern