The European Union (EU) has imposed sanctions on more Iranian officials, as part of its efforts to mount pressure on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear energy program.
The 17 names were agreed on during a Friday meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
The individuals on the EU blacklist are subject to asset freezes and travel bans. They include officials in the Iranian judiciary and media who have no links with the country’s nuclear energy program.
The EU has also alleged that some of the Iranian officials were involved in human rights violations.
Such allegations by the EU and its ally the US come as major European and Washington officials have themselves already been found guilty of violating human rights. They include politicians branded as war criminals by human rights organizations for waging wars on other countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The US, Israel and some of their allies have accused Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program. Washington and the EU have even used this pretext to impose sanctions against Iran.
On New Year’s Eve, the US imposed new harsher sanctions against Iran aimed at preventing other countries from importing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with its central bank.
EU foreign ministers also approved sanctions against Iran’s oil and financial sectors on January 23, including a ban on Iranian oil imports, a freeze on the assets of the country’s central bank within EU states, and a ban on selling grains, diamonds, gold, and other precious metals to Tehran.
The Islamic Republic has strongly refuted Western allegations regarding its nuclear energy program, arguing that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful objectives.