Wed, 31 May 2023

EU Sanctions Iran Revolutionary Guards' Investment Wing

Voice of America
23 May 2023, 06:06 GMT+10

Brussels, Belgium - The European Union on Monday imposed an asset freeze on the investment arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, over Tehran's brutal crackdown on protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.

The latest round of sanctions - the eighth imposed by the EU over the repression - came after Iran hanged three more men convicted in relation to the demonstrations.

The 27-nation bloc added the IRGC Cooperative Foundation, which handles the Guards' investments, to an EU asset freeze and visa ban blacklist for 'funneling money into the regime's brutal repression.'

The economic conglomerate, accused of serving as a slush fund for the paramilitary armed wing of Tehran's Islamic revolution, was sanctioned by the United States in January.

The EU also blacklisted the Student Basij Organization, which it said acts as enforcers for the Revolutionary Guards on university campuses.

Five regime figures, including three senior police commanders, a top cyber official and a regional prosecutor were also added to the list.

The Iranian authorities brutally cracked down on protests that sprang up after the death in custody on September 16 of Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who was arrested in Tehran for allegedly breaching the Islamic republic's strict dress rules for women.

The latest three men to be hanged were convicted on charges of killing security force members at a demonstration in the city of Isfahan in November.

Their executions on Friday brought to seven the number of Iranians executed in connection with the protests.

Brussels' latest blacklistings bring to about 160 the number of individuals, companies and agencies targeted by EU asset freezes and travel bans over the crackdown.

Some EU capitals have pushed to list the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.

European officials say it is proving complicated to demonstrate the legal basis for such a blanket designation.

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