The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said on Monday that it has imposed sanctions on the morality police in its entirety, as well as both its chief Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi and the Head of the Tehran Division Ahmad Mirzaei for their alleged role in suppressing recent riots in the country following the death of Mahsa Amini.
Protests over the death of the 22-year-old Iranian woman, who fainted at a police station on September 16 and was later pronounced dead at a Tehran hospital, erupted first in her native province of Kordestan and later in several cities, including the capital Tehran.
Immediately after Amini’s death, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi ordered a thorough investigation into the case and an official report published on Friday said her death had been caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.
What started as peaceful protests took a violent turn after unruly protesters fatally attacked policemen and indulged in vandalism against public property in several cities.
The United States Treasury Department on Thursday imposed sanctions on seven Iranian officials accusing them of supporting internet shutdown and suppressing protests over Amini’s death.
The chief commander of the Iranian Army said on Sunday that Iran’s Armed Forces will not allow any foreign interference and aggression against the country.
Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi added that all branches of Iran’s Armed Forces support one another and form the nation’s front line for protecting the country’s security and heading off threats.
According to the FCDO, London also sanctioned five leading Iranian political and security officials, claiming that they had committed serious human rights violations during protests in Iran in 2019.
The blacklisting will bar the individuals from travelling to the UK and will freeze their assets there.
Protests erupted in a number of Iranian cities in November 2019 after a decision by authorities to ration gasoline and substantially increase the fuel price as part of efforts to blunt the effects of US sanctions on the country’s economy.