Human rights: EU countries impose new sanctions on Iran

Because of the ongoing serious human rights violations in Iran, the EU states have imposed further sanctions.

Human rights: EU countries impose new sanctions on Iran

Because of the ongoing serious human rights violations in Iran, the EU states have imposed further sanctions. The punitive measures decided by the foreign ministers on Monday affect a total of 37 people and organizations who are held responsible for the brutal suppression of protests after the death of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini. According to the EU Official Journal, these include Sports and Youth Minister Hamid Sajadi, parliamentarians and numerous regional branches of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the umbrella organization of the moral guardians.

Two parliamentarians are explicitly accused of supporting the execution of protesters. The sanctions against a company that supplies the Iranian security forces are said to have contributed "to the fact that at least 516 protesters, including at least 70 children, were tortured or died". The punitive measures envisage freezing assets in the EU and imposing entry bans.

Baerbock: Keep an eye on the Revolutionary Guards

Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in Brussels that the new sanctions package made it clear that the courageous people of Iran were supported. "We strongly condemn the terrorization of our own population," said the Greens politician.

Baerbock also made it clear that she would continue to advocate for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to be classified as a terrorist organization and that she would like to have the relevant legal options explored. EU representatives had previously stated that for an organization to be included on the EU terror list, for example, a national court decision or a prohibition order from an administrative authority would be necessary. "This means that the EU level alone cannot act without such a national decision," it said.

Leading politicians in Iran had previously sharply condemned a possible listing of the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist and threatened the consequences. The parliament in Tehran is considering a naval blockade of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. The approximately 55-kilometer-wide strait between Iran and Oman is one of the most important shipping routes for global oil exports. On state television, moderators appeared in Revolutionary Guard uniforms as a sign of solidarity with unity.

US government extends sanctions on Iran

The US government is also expanding its sanctions against Iran. The US Treasury Department said they would meet high-ranking government officials and commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their economic arm. Specifically, the punitive measures would be imposed on Iran's Deputy Minister of Intelligence and four commanders of the Revolutionary Guards, who are responsible for the violent crackdown on anti-government protests.

In addition, a group of companies and five of its supervisory board members who controlled the economic activities of the Revolutionary Guards were targeted, it said. The property of the affected individuals and corporations in the US must be frozen. The new sanctions have been coordinated with the EU and Great Britain.

protests since September

The trigger for the nationwide protests in Iran was the death of the Iranian Kurd Jina Mahsa Amini. She died in police custody on September 16 after being arrested by the Morality Police for breaking the Islamic dress code. The protests against the repressive government and the Islamic system of rule have plunged the political leadership into one of the most serious crises in decades.

In the previous round of sanctions, the EU had targeted 20 people and the state broadcaster IRIB in December. The latter accuses the EU of being actively involved in organizing and broadcasting "confessions" coerced through intimidation and severe violence from dissidents. These "confessions" are thus often broadcast after public protests or before an execution, to minimize public outcry. Among those affected were commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.