The United Kingdom government announced this Friday sanctions against four senior Iranian officials, including the culture minister and the mayor of Tehran, on the eve of the first anniversary of the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, who was imprisoned for allegedly wearing a poor veil.
The British Foreign Office has indicated that the sanctions, coordinated with the United States, Canada and Australia, target “key members of the decision-making process in Iran who are responsible for drafting and implementing laws regarding the compulsory use of the hijab.”
He explained that those who were sanctioned were the Minister of Culture Mohamad Mehdi Esmaili; Deputy Minister of Culture Mohamad Hashemi; the mayor of Tehran, Alireza Zakani; and Iranian police spokesman Said Montazer al Mahdi.
“One year after Amini’s tragic death at the hands of the ‘morality police’, I applaud the courage of Iranian women as they continue to fight for their fundamental freedoms,” said British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
“Today’s sanctions against those responsible for Iran’s repressive laws send a clear signal that the UK and our partners will continue to stand with Iranian women and denounce the repression they (the authorities) inflict on them our own people,” he emphasized.
British authorities have so far imposed sanctions on more than 350 Iranian officials and organizations, including the Attorney General’s Office and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, while announcing their intention to create a new sanctions regime for Tehran’s “hostile activities” against London.
Amini died on September 16, 2022, after being arrested in Tehran for allegedly wearing the veil incorrectly. According to reports from several non-governmental organizations, the death of the young woman, a member of the Kurdish-Iranian minority, triggered a wave of protests across the country that were harshly suppressed and led to the deaths of more than 500 people.