Australia sanctions top Iranian officials

Dilan Sirwan

May. 15, 2024 • 2 min read
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Australia sanctioned top Iranian officials and entities for their "destabilizing behavior", prompting strong condemnation from Tehran.

Australia on Tuesday sanctioned five Iranian individuals, including top officials, and three entities, citing Iran’s “destabilizing behavior”, a move that was strongly condemned by Tehran.

“The Australian Government is imposing targeted sanctions on an additional five Iranian individuals and three entities, in response to Iran’s destabilizing behavior,” the Australian Foreign Ministry announced in a statement.

“Senior officials sanctioned today include Iran’s Defence Minister, Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, and the Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force, Brigadier General Esmail Qaani,” the statement added.

The sanctions also included officials, businesspeople, and companies that have contributed to the development of Iran’s missile and UAV programs.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned Australia’s move.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns the illegal approach of resorting to sanctions by Australia,” Iranian state media reported the foreign ministry as saying, adding that Tehran reserves the right to retaliate.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry further defined the sanctions as double standards from Australia, claiming that such actions “does not help reduce instability in the region,” citing Australia’s support to Israel.

The Tuesday sanctions raised the amount of sanctions by Australia on Iran to 90 individuals and 100 Iran-linked entities.

“This action is in line with sanctions measures taken by our partners in recent weeks, following Iran’s unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel in April,” the statement read, adding that “Australia will continue to deliberately and strategically apply pressure on Iran to cease its disruptive activities and adhere to international law.” 

The US and UK in April imposed a new wave of sanctions against Iran following a large-scale drone attack by Tehran on Israel.

Tehran at the time said that the attack was in retaliation for an attack on Iran’s Consulate in Syria, which was attributed to Israel but never confirmed by the Israeli government.

The US has in the past three years sanctioned over 600 Iran-related entities, according to the Department of Treasury, an approach personally vouched for by US President Joe Biden.

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Author Dilan Sirwan

Dilan Sirwan is an Erbil-based Kurdish journalist covering Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. He focuses on political, economic, and social issues.


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