On January 19, 2020, the name of Brigadier General Hassan Shahvarpour was added to the US sanctions list following the bloody suppression of the youth uprising in Mahshahr, southern Iran.
The US State Department sanctioned Brigadier General Hassan Shahvarpour for ordering the killing of protesters.
The United States in its official statement mentioned that units commanded by Brigadier General Shahvarpour were responsible for the deaths of at least 148 people, especially in Mahshahr, during the crackdown of November’s protests.
Brigadier General Shahvarpour is the commander of the Vali-e-Asr Provincial Corps of IRGC in Khuzestan. Vali-e-Asr Corps is one of the 32 provincial corps in Iran that were formed in 2000 by merging the ground troops of IRGC and Basij.
After the Iran-Iraq War, the mission assigned to the IRGC was to suppress the Iranian people. The goal of creating a provincial corps was to give them more authority and power to make decisions in times of crisis, including internal threats, uprisings of the people against the ruling regime in case they loose contact with Central Command; for example, sending the IRGC to suppress the people of Kurdistan right after Iran-Iraq war.
Shahvarpour, born in Safi Abad in southern Dezful, is one of the most well-known and longest serving commanders. He was involved in the Iran-Iraq war for eight years and was the commander of the Seventh Armored Division of the Vali-e-Asr Brigade.
This brigade has now become one of the most important means of suppressing protesters and youths in the streets of various cities in Khuzestan province, who are facing poverty, discrimination, corruption and hunger. The Revolutionary Guards are now responding to the people’s protests by shooting youth in the streets.
The magnitude of the uprising and protests in Mahshahr in this industrial zone for the regime was such that the Revolutionary Guards took over the control of the regime response from regular forces.
Brigadier General Shahvarpour was among the few commanders across Iran who brought armored vehicles from barracks to the streets of Mahshahr and surrounding areas to suppress the uprising and kill the protesters.
Mahshahr was among the the few cities in the country that machine guns at the behest of Shahvarpour were used in the killing of people. The attack on the outskirts of the city and the massacre of innocent youth made widespread international news.