Revolutionary Guard's commander-in-chief Hossein Salami (in green) during a war game in 2022

Austrian MP Calls for Further EU Sanctions Against Iran's IRGC

Thursday, 05/16/2024

Helmut Brandstätter, a member of the Austrian parliament, has urged the European Union to sanction Iran’s IRGC.

In a statement, Brandstätter revealed, “I met with the sister of Mahmoud Mehrabi, a man sentenced to death in Iran over a social media post advocating for justice and anti-corruption,” highlighting the plight of Iran’s citizens under the oppressive regime.
Mehrabi, arrested last year, faces execution for charges of "corruption on earth"—a term frequently used by Iranian courts to prosecute various alleged offenses.

The IRGC plays a central role in suppressing dissent by leading crackdowns on protests and unrest, utilizing both its regular forces and the Basij militia to monitor public activities.

The United States designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization in 2019 and last year, the UK admitted that Iran was among the country’s biggest foreign threats with multiple IRGC plots foiled on British soil.

Brandstätter’s call for EU sanctions gains further gravity with the mention of Toomaj Salehi, a dissident rapper sentenced to death for his involvement in the 2022 anti-regime protests. Brandstätter has taken up sponsorship and advocacy on Salehi’s behalf.

“Mehrabi is in the same prison as Toomaj Salehi, for whom I took a sponsorship. Toomaj was also sentenced to death, only because he stood - and stands, even in prison - in solidarity with those who want to live in freedom in Iran,” wrote Brandstätter on X.

Amnesty International reported that 853 people were executed in Iran in 2023, the highest number in eight years as executions stepped up in the wake of the 2022 uprising.

In 2011, the EU initiated a sanctions regime targeting Iran due to severe human rights violations. The sanctions have been renewed annually and are currently extended through 13 April 2025.

Since October 2022, the EU has intensified the measures, implementing 10 new packages of sanctions in response to the worsening human rights situation in Iran.

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