EU set to impose new sanctions on Iran over crackdown on protests


European Union foreign ministers will on Monday approve a new round of sanctions against Iran following the regime’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protests.

“Today we are going to approve another package of sanctions against those responsible for the repression of protesters,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, told reporters upon arriving for a meeting of ministers in Brussels. .

At least 30 individuals and entities are expected to be targeted by asset freezes and travel bans under the new round of sanctions, according to an EU diplomat.

The new designations come a month after 15 Iranian individuals and entities were sanctioned for their role in the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini following her arrest by the country’s morality police and the violent response to protests that swept the country.

The sanctions targeted the vice police and two of its key figures Mohammad Rostami and Hajahmad Mirzaei as well as the Iranian Law Enforcement Force (LEF) and a number of its local leaders. The country’s information and communication technology minister, Issa Zarepour, was also sanctioned for his responsibility in shutting down the internet.

Borrell said he spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Sunday to discuss sanctions and the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

When asked if a new round of sanctions, which would likely be backed by countermeasures from Tehran, could jeopardize the JCPOA talks, Borrell acknowledged that the deal “is not on the right track. , he is at an impasse, but the work continues”.

“We discussed Iran’s military support to Russia which must end,” he also said. He reiterated that the bloc had “clear evidence” that Iran provided Moscow with drones that were used in Ukraine.

Ninth package against Russia?

Russia’s continued war in Ukraine will also be on ministers’ agenda, but a new round of sanctions against Moscow is unlikely to be discussed.

The bloc has so far imposed eight sanctions packages targeting Moscow’s defence, energy, finance, media and transport sectors, but the pace has slowed in recent weeks as cracks in the block units are expanding due to soaring cost of living and energy costs.

Poland and the Baltic states have proposed new sanctions, with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis telling reporters that Vilnius “proposed a number of listings already several weeks ago and we are still awaiting the response from institutions in Europe , that they would react and go forward with the 9th package.”

“There are those who say that there may be nothing else to sanction than everything that Europe has been able to sanction is already in the list so I would like to dispel this information”, he said. he adds.

Asked about this, Borrell defended Brussels, assuring journalists that “we react, and we follow the procedures”.

“Member states propose, then sanctions are considered, legal services are consulted, then we proceed. Be sure we don’t stop,” he said.

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