Baerbock: EU set to approve new sanctions on Iran’s morality police

HANDOUT - German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock attends the EU Foreign Ministers meeting. Photo: -/EU Council/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said European Union countries are to adopt new sanctions on Iran to hold those responsible for the ongoing crackdown on protests accountable.

Individuals targeted by the sanctions are to have their assets frozen and be banned from travelling to the EU, Baerbock said speaking ahead of an EU foreign affairs ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

The new punitive measures target members of Iran’s so-called morality police.

Baerbock said the aim of the new sanctions is to “hold those responsible for the brutal crimes against women, young people and men to account.”

Nationwide protests were triggered by the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, 22. The Kurdish woman was detained by Iran’s morality police because her headscarf allegedly did not comply with the country’s strict public dress regulations for women.

The cause of her death is unclear, with many saying police brutality is to blame, while the authorities have denied that the police were responsible for her death.

Several dozens demonstrators have been killed in recent weeks, according to Amnesty International.

Baerbock said on Monday that women in Iran who wanted to leave the house without headscarves or sing and dance together in the evening were beaten up and sometimes killed for doing so.

The German foreign minister has been demanding new sanctions on Iran over the violent crackdown on the demonstrations since last month.

The EU has repeatedly imposed sanctions on Iran since the United Nations started adopting resolutions requiring the country to stop enriching uranium with the purpose of nuclear proliferation in 2006.

Additionally the bloc has implemented a number of economic and financial measures including trade and transport restrictions as well as freezing assets of major Iranian banks.

Currently 82 people and one entity are affected by travel bans and asset freezes due to “serious human rights violations in Iran,” according to a European Council press release.

The new punitive measures still need to be formally approved by all 27 EU member states which is expected to happen later on Monday.


Courtesy © dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH