Britain has announced further sanctions on Islamic Republic officials, including commanders of the IRGC,for their role in the regime’s bloodshed at home and abroad.
Britain has announced further sanctions on Islamic Republic officials, including commanders of the IRGC, for their role in the regime’s bloodshed at home and abroad.
Announcing the sanctions on Monday in coordination with the United States and the European Union, the British government said those sanctioned included four regional commanders of the Revolutionary Guards.
“The Iranian regime is responsible for the brutal repression of the Iranian people and for exporting bloodshed around the world. That’s why we have more than 300 sanctions in place on Iran, including on the IRGC in its entirety,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.
Despite his claim about sanctions on the entire IRGC, the British government has so far failed to proscribe the outfit as a terrorist organization despite several rounds of rallies by the Iranian diaspora as well as calls by activists.
Dual British-Iranian citizen Vahid Beheshti is on his 61st day of hunger strike outside the UK Foreign Office, calling on the UK government to designate the IRGC, a terror group responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Iranian citizens since September 2022, when Iranians revolted against the regime after the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. His campaign has proven so successful that his name has been frequently mentioned during the sessions of the UK House of Commons, but London has not officially blacklisted the IRGC.
“The UK and our international partners are again making clear today that we will not overlook the regime’s brutal oppression. We will continue to take a range of actions to hold the regime to account for its actions,” Cleverly added.
The UK’s current list of 78 proscribed terrorist organizations includes Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) but not the IRGC. The Revolutionary Guard is the Islamic Republic’s leading military, intelligence and internal security juggernaut, responsible for cracking down on dissent inside Iran and managing the proxy militias throughout the region including the Houthis in Yemen which have caused devastation to the country.
Several countries including the US, UK and EU have been cautious to designate the IRGC for fear it will further alienate the regime and in turn, limit negotiating capacity regarding its nuclear program.
In December, members of the UK House of Commons unanimously voted for a motion that urges the government to proscribe the IRGC, but it has split the House.
Mohammad Nazar Azimi, the IRGC Commander of Najaf Ashraf West HQ
According to the British government, the US and EU are also set to announce further sanctions on Iranian regime officials responsible for human rights violations, but two of the newly sanctioned IRGC commanders are already blacklistedby the US and the EU as well as Canada and Australia, and the other two already sanctioned by the EU.
“The latest UK sanctions are against four IRGC Commanders, under whose leadership IRGC forces have opened fire on unarmed protestors resulting in numerous deaths, including of children, and have arbitrarily detained and tortured protestors,” added the Monday statement.
Habib Shahsavari, the IRGC Commander of the province of West Azarbaijan
Mohammad Nazar Azimi is the Commander of Najaf Ashraf West Headquarters, and according to the British government responsible for the violent repression of protests in the Kurdish-majority Kermanshah Province, with IRGC forces using machine guns against unarmed protestors resulting in multiple deaths.
The other blacklisted IRGC commander is Habib Shahsavari, who leads the Shohada ground troops of the West Azarbaijan province, andis responsible for repression of protestors in Mahabad and Piranshahr, where the regime’s crackdown resulted in multiple deaths.
Mohsen Karimi, the IRGC commander of Markazi province
Mohsen Karimi – the IRGC commander of Markazi province – and Ahmad Kadem (Khadem) – the commander of the Operational Base Karbala, which commands IRGC troops in the provinces of Khuzestan, Lorestan and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, are the other two guards sanctioned for their role in the repression of protests.
Karimi was announced as responsible for the violent repression of protests, including 19-year-old protestor Mehrshad Shahidi who was reportedly beaten to death in an IRGC detention center. And Khadem was responsible for the repression of protests in the town of Izeh, in Khuzestan Province, during which 10-year old Kian Pirfalak was shot and killed.
Ahmad Khadem, the head of IRGC's Operational Base Karbala