EU freezes belongings of at the very least 11 individuals, together with law enforcement officials and Iran’s data minister, over their roles within the crackdown in opposition to ongoing protests.
The European Union has imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police and knowledge minister over their alleged roles within the safety crackdown in opposition to anti-government protests that erupted after the demise of a 22-year-old girl in authorities custody.
Two main morality police officers, Mohammad Rostami and Hajahmad Mirzaei, are amongst 11 individuals whose belongings had been frozen by the 27-nation bloc on Monday. They’re additionally banned from travelling in Europe.
The Iranian Legislation Enforcement Forces and a lot of native police chiefs had been additionally focused “for his or her position within the brutal repression of the protests”, mentioned a press release launched after EU international ministers endorsed the sanctions at a gathering in Luxembourg.
Info Minister Issa Zarepour was listed for his alleged accountability in an web shutdown after the protests began.
German Overseas Minister Annalena Baerbock mentioned the EU “can’t and won’t shut our eyes” to the crackdown in Iran. “Additionally it is clear that if this regime continues to pummel its inhabitants on this manner, there can be additional focused sanctions packages in opposition to these accountable,” she mentioned.
Within the assertion, the EU condemned “the widespread and disproportionate use of drive in opposition to peaceable protesters. That is unjustifiable and unacceptable. Individuals in Iran, as anyplace else, have the precise to peacefully protest, and this proper should be ensured in all circumstances”.
Iran mentioned there could be an “speedy” response to the sanctions.
The listing was drawn up earlier than a lethal fireplace at Tehran’s Evin jail, the place the federal government holds Iranian political prisoners, twin nationals and foreigners.
The EU has been alarmed on the Iranian authorities’s bloody crackdown on protests sparked by final month’s demise of Mahsa Amini, who was taken into custody after morality police accused her of failing to put on her Islamic headband appropriately.
The demonstrations have since morphed into anti-government road protests.
The EU international ministers accused the morality police and their Tehran and nationwide police chiefs of being liable for Amini’s demise.
“In line with dependable stories and witnesses, she was brutally overwhelmed and mistreated in custody, which led to her hospitalisation and to her demise on 16 September 2022,” they mentioned.
The Basij drive, a paramilitary group affiliated with the highly effective Revolutionary Guard, was listed for its “significantly harsh” crackdown on protesters, “ensuing within the deaths of a number of individuals”. It’s “straight liable for severe human rights violations in Iran”, the EU sanctions listing mentioned.
The US, the UK and Canada have already introduced their very own sanctions in opposition to Iran for human rights violations happening through the protests.
Tehran has responded by accusing the US of fomenting the protests.
Luxembourg Overseas Minister Jean Asselborn was sceptical that the sanctions would “harm” Iran.
However he mentioned: “This regime might have labored over the past 40 years, however it’s not working now. And that’s the reason the European Union has to take this primary step.”
The protests erupted as hopes are fading of restoring the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was torpedoed when then-US President Donald Trump withdraw from it in 2018.
Over the previous yr and half, the EU has been coordinating efforts, up to now unsuccessfully, to deliver the US and Iran again into full compliance with the settlement, which goals to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.