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Iran summons Portugal's ambassador to protest EU sanctions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The entrance of the Iranian Foreign Ministry's building in the capital, Tehran (File photo)

Iran has summoned the ambassador of Portugal, the current holder of the European Union’s rotating presidency, to protest the bloc’s latest batch of anti-Tehran sanctions.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Carlos Costa Neves on Tuesday and expressed the country's strong protest to the EU’s illegal action with the Portuguese ambassador.

The ministry censured the sanctions as "politically motivated" and said Tehran was considering counter-sanctions against the bloc.

“We will suspend, as we have already announced, all comprehensive talks with the European Union and subsequent cooperation, especially in the fields of terrorism, illicit drugs and refugees,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry added.

The Portuguese ambassador, for his part, said that he would convey the matter to Brussels.

The EU added eight Iranian officials and three entities to its sanctions blacklist on Monday and imposed restrictive measures ranging from travel bans to asset freezes on them over alleged violation of human rights.

Iran has repeatedly rejected the accusation and criticized Europe for its double standard on the issue of human rights.  

This came after four days of talks between representatives of Iran and the remaining parties to a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), ended in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Friday.      

Last December, Iranian lawmakers strongly condemned the European Parliament’s resolution that censured Iran under the guise of protecting human rights, and threatened to take reciprocal action.

As many as 225 parliamentarians released a statement on December 20, three days after the EP ratified the sanctions resolution targeting a number of Iranian officials, whom the European legislature accused of violating human rights.

The Iranian legislators blasted the resolution as a clear instance of interference in the Islamic Republic’s internal affairs, drewing attention to how the EU refrained from condemning the assassination of a senior Iranian nuclear scientist in late November.


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