Western Countries Should Apply Human-Rights Sanctions to Iran

In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that would punish Russian officials involved in the imprisonment, torture, and death of the anti-corruption activist Sergei Magnitsky. The law, which was expanded in 2016 so that it could be applied in places besides Russia, allows the government to target individuals, rather than whole economies, with sanctions and the freezing of assets. Other countries have since followed suit, and Naomi Levin urges them to use these legal tool against Iran:

This month, the Australian parliament passed amendments that will allow its government to implement Magnitsky-style sanctions on human-rights abusers. The Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was held hostage by Iran for 26 months, has said it would be a “no-brainer” to impose sanctions on the “Iranian government, judiciary, and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] officials who kidnap Australian citizens.”

Magnitsky-style laws have been passed by the European Union, Canada, and the UK.

In April of this year, the European Union imposed sanctions on eight Iranian militia commanders and police chiefs, including the head of the IRGC, Hossein Salami. Those sanctioned were involved in a brutal crackdown of Iranian protesters in 2019 that, Reuters reported, left 1,500 demonstrators dead in a period of just two weeks. In October this year, the United States issued sanctions against Iranian individuals—and companies in this case—responsible for providing military drones to Iran-backed terrorist groups, including Hizballah and Hamas.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: Australia, Human Rights, Iran, Iran sanctions, U.S. Foreign policy

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security