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EU Agrees to Sanction Iran over Protest Crackdowns

Protest at London's Piccadilly Circus against mandatory hijab in Iran.
EU Agrees to Sanction Iran over Protest Crackdowns. (Protest at London’s Piccadilly Circus against mandatory hijab in Iran.) Credit: Public Domain

The European Union (EU) has agreed on sanctions against Iran over the increasingly violent crackdowns against protesters.

The commission announced the decision today, and foreign ministers plan to adopt them starting next Monday when they have been made official.

“Now is the time to sanction those responsible” in Iran “for the repression of women,” stated the European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen.

The decision came after four weeks of increasingly violent protests in Iran following the death of Misha Amini by the Iranian Morality Police.

“This shocking violence cannot stay unanswered,” declared Von Der Leyen.

EU sanctions against Iran

Protests over Misha Amina
Thousands turn out in Melbourne to stand in solidarity with protests that have broken out in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa (also known as Jina or Zhina) Amini at the hands of the country’s brutal dictatorship and its ‘morality’ police. Photo Credit: Matt Hrkac. CC-BY-2.0/Flickr

The world has been closely watching the protests since they began in early September, expressing both their fury and sympathy at the continuing restrictions against Iranian women’s liberty. Today, the European Commission seems to have grown fed up as well.

There are no further details about the sanctions against Iran. However, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada have all individually targeted Iranian security branches. The U.S. and the U.K. have also imposed sanctions on Iran’s so-called Morality Police who were responsible for young Amini’s arrest. She later arrived unconscious at the hospital and passed away shortly after.

Canada, in particular, has taken harsh measures by permanently denying entry to over one hundred members of the Iranian regime. The denial of entry will also include the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which many hold responsible for the current repression.

Last week, the United States also imposed sanctions on seven Iranian individuals accused of being responsible for the blackout on social media, internet use, and protest crackdowns.

As for the Commission, they have asked to put the Iranian Morality Police and regime officials on a European blacklist preventing entry into the EU. They have also demanded a freeze on their assets.

The last time the EU sanctioned Iran for human rights violations was in 2011.  In 2012, there were further restrictions on the sale of equipment the regime used to spy on its population.

Today’s sanctions are during a moment of particular delicacy, however, given the EU’s desire to revive the Iran nuclear agreement.

Worldwide protesters join Iranians from every segment of society

Protesters gathered at Parliament Square
Protesters gathered at Parliament Square, London as part of a worldwide series of protests in solidarity with Iranian women. Credit: Alisdare Hickson. CC-BY-SA.2.0/Flicker

Despite the blackout on social media in Iran, news of the violence against protesters has sparked solidarity marches around the world. Reports keep flooding in on the use of lethal force and Iranian police firing on women and children.

Yet, resistance to the current government and continuing lack of women’s freedom has spread to several different provinces around the country, making it harder for the Iranian government to quell the fury.

Nevertheless, they try, and they have been shown using guns, assault rifles, and handguns against the crowds in the streets, allegedly killing and injuring hundreds, including kids.

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