EU and Canada impose human rights-related sanctions on Iranian officials and state groups


the outpouring of sanctions from multiple Western governments could indicate a broader shift in policy.


The Canadian government imposed new sanctions on 17 individuals and three other entities suspected of being directly involved in the attempted suppression of protests that have been ongoing for the past month since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died after being assaulted by “morality police.”

Human rights-related sanctions

These measures were announced just one day after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered a speech to European Union ambassadors in which she declared that “the shocking violence inflicted on the Iranian people cannot go unanswered.” Later that day, the ambassadors in that meeting indicated that they had agreed to impose new human rights-related sanctions on at least 15 Iranian individuals and groups, though formal implementation of those measures is not expected until Monday, October 17.

Some have questioned the practical value of this ongoing accumulation of financial penalties, claiming that there is little reason to believe that any of their targets have assets or business dealings in Western countries that could be used to enforce their sanctions.



Sanctions from multiple Western governments

However, the outpouring of sanctions from multiple Western governments could indicate a broader shift in policy, leading to the adoption of more effective strategies over time. This possibility was emphasized on Thursday by US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who stated that restoring the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was no longer the focus of White House policy.

Several commentaries had emerged in advance of that briefing, criticizing the US and its allies for sending mixed messages by pursuing negotiations with the Iranian regime while condemning Amini’s killing and the ensuing crackdowns on dissent, which have now killed more than 400 people, according to the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK).



Raisi accused the US and EU

Ebrahim Raisi’s administration appeared to mock the US over the disparity, with Deputy Chief of Staff for Political Affairs Mohammad Jamshidi claiming that the US had made “thirty-odd” requests for direct talks with the Islamic Republic.

Raisi spoke at an international conference in Kazakhstan, accusing the US of pursuing a “destabilization policy.” However, neither he nor any other prominent official attempted to explain how the US allegedly manufactured expressions of popular outrage in all 31 Iranian provinces and every major city.



Month-long women-led protests

In the context of such a geographically and demographically diverse uprising, the official narrative of foreign meddling is facing some resistance from unexpected quarters, including former government officials and state-linked media outlets.

Former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, a prominent conservative politician, has called for a “cultural solution” to the veiling of women. Despite this, the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom declared that “the first cracks have begun to appear among Iran’s political elite over the country’s month-long women-led protests.”



New Iranian Revolution

Almost a month into the new wave of uprisings, and on the verge of a spectacular change dubbed the “new Iranian Revolution” by many observers, it is clear that international support is both critical and insufficient. The clerical regime has learned a historic lesson by being built on the ashes of the previous monarchical dictator, and it will never abandon power at will.

Despite the most severe sanctions imposed in the last two decades, the regime has never neglected or weakened material support for its security forces. The bloody crackdown will only intensify and outpace international pressure as popular calls for change grow and continue to jeopardize the Supreme Leader’s rule.



MEK Iran (follow us on Twitter and Facebook), Maryam Rajavi’s on her siteTwitter & Facebook, NCRI  (Twitter & Facebook), and People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran – MEK IRAN – YouTub

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