After today after the meeting of European Council EU extended sanctions against seven individuals and four entities (i.e. companies) involved in the crackdown against protesters have been added to the list which, among other, includes, among other, President Bashar al-Assad, Maher al-Assad and the heads of the security apparatus as well as Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of the President. The names of those individuals and entities targeted for sanction will be published tomorrow Official Journal. A copy will be made public in this blog as soon as I get my hand on the information.
As leaked from the EU three of the seven are not Syrian, but Iranian nationals, something that might explain the sharp reaction from Syrian FM Walid al-Moalim, who denounced the EU as well as denying any direct Iranian involement. Rumors have swirled since the protests in Deraa that Iranian security forces have taken part in the crackdowns. This, that the regime would use Iranian security forces in the killing, maiming and torture of Syrian citizens, that the regime would stoop to use Iranians – shia – against the protesters, of which the majority are Arab and Sunni are, if it is true, explosive; something that could be a ‘game changer’ and bring in the as of yet silent majority in Damascus and Aleppo.
The information from the European Council was as follows:
“The Council today adopted a decision and a regulation1 imposing restrictive measures on seven additional persons and introducing such measures against four entities associated with the Syrian regime, in view of the gravity of the situation in the country.
These persons and entities are added to the list set out in decision 2011/273/CFSP, adopted on 9 May, which imposed restrictive measures on 13 officials and associates of the Syrian regime who were identified as being responsible for the violent repression against thecivilian population. The decision also imposed an embargo on arms and equipment whichmight be used for internal repression. On 23 May, 10 additional persons, including President Assad, were listed. The measures consist of a visa ban and an assets freeze against the individuals concerned and an assets freeze on the entities.
The decision and the regulation will be published in the Official Journal on 24 June,
together with an updated list of persons and entities subject to the restrictive measures.”