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Sadegh Larijani

Position: Head of the Judiciary (Since 2009)

Sanctions: European Union (May 23, 2012)

In May 2012, the European Union sanctioned Sadegh Larijani for human rights abuses. According to the Official Journal of the European Union, as head of the judiciary in Iran, Larijani approved of harsh punishments for retribution crimes, crimes against God, and crimes against the state. The punishments included “numerous death penalty sentences, contravening international standards, including stoning, executions by suspension strangulation, execution of juveniles, and public executions…he has also permitted corporal punishment sentences such as amputations and the dripping of acid into the eyes of the convicted.”[1]

Sadegh Larijani is the brother of Ali Larijani, the current chairman of the Parliament of Iran.[2]

Larijani’s appointment as head of the judiciary was speculated to be done by Ayatollah Khamenei in order to undercut President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s power.[3]

Larijani was implicated in the arrest and beating of several journalists aligned with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, including the arrest of Ahmadinejad’s media advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr in 2011, because of his status as head of the judiciary, according to The New York Times.[4]

[1]The Council of the European Union, “Council Regulation (EU) No 264/2012 of 23 March 2012 amending Regulation (EU) No 359/2011 Concerning Restrictive Measures Directed Against Certain Persons, Entities, and Bodies in View of the Situation in Iran.” Official Journal of the European Union, March 24, 2012, p. 28. (

[2]William Yong, “Top Iran Prosecutor Vows to Charge Opposition Leaders,” The New York Times, January 1, 2011. (

[3]Michael Slackman, “Iran’s Supreme Leader Softens Tone,” The New York Times, August 27, 2009. (

[4]Rick Gladstone, “Iranian Paper Protests Raid by Judiciary,” The New York Times, November 22, 2011. (