US sanctions Iranian officials and IRGC Co-operative Foundation

Treasury Department says designation 'targets a key economic pillar of the IRGC'

Iranian Americans in California participate in a rally after the death of Mahsa Amini. AP
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The US on Monday imposed fresh sanctions on 10 senior Iranian officials and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Co-operative Foundation, as Washington continues to pressure Tehran over its crackdown on nationwide protests.

The IRGC Co-operative Foundation was established to manage the organisation's presence in Iran's private sector, the Treasury said.

It added that five of the foundation's board members, the deputy minister of intelligence and security, and four senior IRGC commanders had been hit with sanctions.

Washington's announcement “targets a key economic pillar of the IRGC, which funds much of the regime’s brutal suppression as well as senior security officials co-ordinating Tehran’s crackdown at the national and provincial levels”, the Treasury said.

Among those sanctioned were Ali Asghar Norouzi, chairman of the group's board of directors; Seyyed Amin Ala Emami Tabatabai, managing director and vice chairman; and IRGC officers Mohammad Nazar Azimi, Mojtaba Fada and Hossein Tanavar.

Also sanctioned was Deputy Minister for Intelligence Naser Rashedi. The Treasury said Ministry of Intelligence and Security agents have been linked to human rights abuses aimed at suppressing the protests.

This was the ninth round of sanctions the US has issued since Tehran began its crackdown on protests and limited Iran's access to the internet, the Treasury said.

Those sanctioned are forbidden from being involved in any business with any person in the US, and any assets they may own in the US are frozen.

The Treasury said Monday's designation was made in co-ordination with the UK and EU.

“The United States remains committed to supporting the Iranian people in their demands for human rights and other fundamental freedoms,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson.

“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.”

Earlier on Monday, the EU imposed sanctions on 37 Iranian officials and entities, freezing their assets and barring them from obtaining visas.

Updated: January 23, 2023, 5:29 PM