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EU sanctions Iranian officials responsible for the death of Mahsa Amini and the crackdown against demonstrators

Mohammad Rostami (one of the key figures in Iran’s Morality Police) and Hajahmad Murzaei (one of the EU Foreign Ministers) were among those sanctioned. Ministers also discussed Iran’s participation in the conflict in Ukraine. YossiLempkowicz reports that Ukraine has been reporting a series of Russian-made Shahed136 drone attacks in the last week.

The European Union will impose sanctions on Iranian authorities for their crackdown on protestors who were killed in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year old Iranian woman. The 27 EU Foreign Ministers met in Luxembourg to decide to include 11 individuals and 4 entities in the list of people who will be subject to restrictive measures under the existing Iran human right sanctions regime.

An EU statement stated that the sanction was made in light of their involvement in Mahsa Amini’s death and the violent response to recent protests in Iran. Mohammad Rostami, Hajahmad Mirzaei and other key figures from Iran’s Morality Police are among those sanctioned. They are also responsible for Mahsa Amini’s death. The EU also named the Iranian Law Enforcement Forces, as well as several of its local chiefs, for their involvement in the brutal repressions of the protests. Issa Zarepour was also named by the EU as the Iranian Minister for Information and Communications Technology. Monday’s sanctions include a travel ban as well as an asset freeze. EU citizens and companies are prohibited from making money available to listed persons and entities. Iran’s human rights sanctions regime includes an embargo on Iran’s exports of equipment that could be used to internal repression or equipment for monitoring telecommunications. According to the EU, the list now includes 97 individuals and 8 entities.

“The European Union and its members condemn the use of excessive force against peaceful protestors. This is unacceptable and unjustifiable. The EU stated that Iranians, like anywhere else, have the freedom to peacefully protest. This right must be protected in all circumstances.” The EU statement added: “The EU expects Iran immediately to stop violent crackdowns against peaceful protesters, free those detained and ensure free flow of information including internet access. The EU also expects Iran to provide fair process to all detainees and to clarify the number and circumstances of their deaths. Mahsa Amini’s murder must be investigated thoroughly and all those found responsible must be held accountable.

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EU ministers also discussed Iran’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. In recent weeks, Ukraine reported a series of Russian-made Shahed136 drone attacks. Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister, stated that additional EU sanctions against Iran will not only be used to blacklist certain individuals should Tehran’s involvement be proven. He said that it would no longer be about sanctioning individuals. “What we can now see is that Iranian drones are being used to attack in the middle Kyiv. This is an atrocity,” stated Jeppe Kofod, Danish Foreign Minister.

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