UANI Top 10 Iran Sanctions Targets

Today, UANI launches the “UANI Top 10 Iran Sanctions Targets,” a new monthly product that seeks to expose and restrict the nefarious activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, both inside and outside of the country. Using primary data and intelligence, UANI experts will identify and publish a list of 10 individuals and entities for the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, and other Western allies to target with sanctions. Many of these persons and organizations fly below the radar of public scrutiny. UANI aims to increase awareness of their roles.




Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Fallahzadeh, IRGC Quds Force Deputy Commander

Fallahzadeh plays a direct role in coordinating IRGC Quds Force-led terrorist operations against U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, as well as arming and supporting Iran-backed terrorist militias, including Hezbollah in Lebanon. He is involved in proliferation of Iranian regime advanced missiles and drones. 

Brigadier General Asghar Sabouri, Former IRGC Quds Force Deputy Coordinator

Sabouri has played a direct role in arming and expanding military and logistic capabilities of Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. Likewise, he has commanded IRGC’s Quds Force’s terrorist and suppressive operations in Iraq and Syria.

Brigadier General Majid Mousavi, IRGC Aerospace Force Deputy Commander

Mousavi functions as the deputy to Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, who is under sanctions. The IRGC Aerospace Force has been responsible for lethal operations against European nationals, including the attack on the Mercer Street vessel which killed two Europeans in 2021. Mousavi has also been heavily involved in the advancement of the IRGC’s missile program, including satellite launch vehicles which employ technology used in the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Abdolfatah Ahvazian, IRGC Advisor to IRGC Quds Force Commander

Ahvazian, an IRGC commander, functions as an advisor to IRGC Quds Force commander Esmail Qaani who is under sanctions. He is actively involved in IRGC Quds Force support for Palestinian terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Ahvazian has disclosed he had foreknowledge of Hamas preparations for the October 7, 2023 massacre in Israel when, on November 23, he revealed the Palestinian terror group had “prepared 8,000 people over the course of one year for this [Al-Aqsa Storm] operation.” He has also played an active role in plotting IRGC-led terrorist operations inside Israel. Ahvazian has likewise assumed a direct role in providing and coordinating IRGC material support to Hamas, including for the construction of the Hamas tunnel network in Gaza. He has sought to exploit U.N. and U.N.-linked NGO channels to deliver such IRGC material support to Gaza. Ahvazian previously served as an advisor to Qassem Soleimani, the former IRGC Quds Force commander.

Seyed Ahmad Ali Ghodsi (a.k.a. Ahmad Ali Moghadesi), Senior Advisor to IRGC Quds Force Commander

Ghodsi, an IRGC commander, functions as a senior advisor to IRGC Quds Force Commander Esmail Qaani, who is under sanctions. In this position, Ghodsi plays a direct role in coordinating material and logistical support for IRGC Quds Force terrorist operations in Iraq and Syria, as well as providing broader support to the IRGC Quds Force network of terrorist militias, including Hezbollah in Lebanon. Ghodsi previously served as an advisor to Qassem Soleimani, the former IRGC Quds Force commander, and played a direct role in IRGC Quds Force terrorist operations in Iraq and Syria, as well as supporting illicit IRGC economic activity in Iraq.

Javad Ghaffari, head of IRGC’s Intelligence Organization’s Special Operations Division

In 2021, Ghaffari was ousted from his role as the IRGC Quds Force commander in Syria over a “major breach of Syrian sovereignty at all levels.” In Syria, he was stationed first in Damascus and then later as commander of Iranian regime forces in Aleppo, where he was named the “Butcher of Aleppo.” Since then, Ghaffari has served as the head of the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization’s Special Operations Division (Unit 4000). He has been behind a series of failed plots to harm Israelis, including in Turkey.

Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Navy (IRIN)

Irani has commanded IRIN as it hijacked commercial vessels like the ST NIKOLAS (f.k.a. SUEZ RAJAN), which was under the supervision of the U.S. Justice Department after cooperating with the U.S. government in seizing oil violating American sanctions that would fund the lethal operations of the IRGC. Irani was also IRIN commander when it hijacked another tanker, ADVANTAGE SWEET, that was chartered by Chevron.

Mojtaba Khamenei, Son of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Leading Figure in the 
Office of Supreme Leader

Mojtaba Khamenei is already under U.S. sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13876. However, the American and European governments should also designate him under their respective Magnitsky Act authorities. Mojtaba Khamenei has been implicated in corruption scandals and human rights abuses. Mojtaba has been implicated in a corruption scandal involving Yas Holding and Tehran municipality. He also controls significant state assets. Mojtaba has played a key commanding role over IRGC and Basij forces in the violent suppression of Iranian civilians, including during the 2009 and 2022 anti-regime protests. Likewise, he has significant influence over the IRGC’s Basij and Intelligence Organization, which have both been implicated in human rights abuses. Mojtaba heads the so-called “Habib Circle” – one of the regime’s highest informal security-intelligence networks – which has committed human rights violations and is involved in terrorist activities.




University of Religions and Denominations (URD)

URD has an extensive affiliation with proscribed terrorist entities including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah in Lebanon. It engages in frequent communication and coordination with designated terrorists, including the IRGC’s Quds Force’s commanders – such as Esmail Qaani – as well as Hezbollah’s leadership, including Naim Qassem, its deputy secretary-general. URD’s Board includes senior IRGC members implicated in human rights violations. URD has officially endorsed and advocated for terrorist attacks on Israel and supported the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks. In the past, URD has partnered with European universities, as UANI has exposed.

Professors Basij Organization (PBO)

The PBO operates as a key arm of the IRGC’s suppressive apparatus across Iranian universities and academic institutions. It is involved in conducting surveillance and active repression – such as forceful “morality policing” – of Iranian academics and students. It seeks to procure sensitive research and technology for the IRGC’s military programs using academic collaborations with foreign universities as cover. The PBO is also the key IRGC entity leading the ongoing purge against Iranian academics and students, resulting in mass suspensions, expulsions, and detainments.

For further information – including private briefings and further sourcing material – please contact Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), and Kasra Aarabi, director for IRGC research at UANI, at [email protected]. They are also on Twitter @JasonMBrodsky and @KasraAarabi.