UK Spy, Defense Chiefs Among 32 Sanctioned by Iran

Iran on Monday sanctioned the heads of the U.K.’s domestic spy agency and military along with British and German political figures, hitting back at Europe before it imposes new sanctions of its own.

At his weekly press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani blamed the Europeans and British for “intervening in the domestic affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran” and said the sanctions “are coming into effect today.”

Britain and Germany have been particularly vocal in their criticism of Iran’s response to almost three months of protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, 22.

The Kurdish-Iranian woman died in custody after her arrest by morality police who accused her of violating Iran’s dress code for women.

Iran imposed its sanctions on 32 individuals and entities ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels. They were expected to impose additional sanctions of their own against Iran over its response to the demonstrations.

Iran’s sanctions list named Ken McCallum, director general of domestic spy agency MI5, and Chief of the Defense Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin.

Others sanctioned include current and former members of the British parliament and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

Several German political figures and companies are also listed. These include Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, former head of the Christian Democratic Union party, and Claudia Roth, federal government commissioner for culture and the media.

Also sanctioned are the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the Persian-language division of Radio Free Europe, a sister network of Voice of America.

Those sanctioned will not be able to enter Iran, and they will be subject to asset freezes.

Britain and the EU last month expanded sanctions against Iranian officials and organizations over Iran’s protest crackdown.

On Friday, Britain announced further sanctions after Iran carried out its first announced execution connected with the protests.

Iran’s judiciary said Monday that a second death sentence had been implemented.

Majidreza Rahnavard had been sentenced to death by a court in the city of Mashhad for killing two members of the security forces with a knife and wounding four other people, the judiciary’s news service said.

The first execution, on Thursday, of Mohsen Shekari followed his conviction for wounding a member of the security forces with a machete.

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