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EU imposes sanctions on 32 Iranian individuals, two entities over alleged rights violation

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, September 28, 2022. (File photo by Reuters)

In a hostile move, Council of the European Union has imposed sanctions on a number of Iranian individuals and entities over alleged human rights violations.

In a press release issued on Monday, the EU Council said it has decided to impose restrictive measures on additional 32 Iranian individuals and two entities in a fifth round of sanctions over what the bloc claimed to be Tehran's crackdown on the recent riots.

Foreign-backed riots broke out in Iran in mid-September after the death of the 22-year-old Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody. She fainted at a police station in Tehran and was pronounced dead three days later at the hospital. An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization concluded that Amini’s death was caused by illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iran’s intelligence community has said several countries, including the United States and the UK, have used their spy and propaganda apparatuses to provoke violent riots in the country.

Rioters went on a rampage, brutally attacking security officers and causing massive damage to public property. Dozens of people and security personnel were killed in the riots. 

According to the EU press release, Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili, Minister of Education Yousef Nouri, the deputy commander and spokesperson of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), a number of MPs, members of the police and judiciary in various parts of the country, as well as prison wardens are among the individuals listed.

The 27-nation bloc also imposed sanctions on the co-founders of EU-listed Ravin Academy, an Iran-based cyber security company.

The designations also targeted the Law Enforcement Forces Cooperative Foundation and the Police Science and Social Studies Institute.

The EU restrictive measures now apply to a total of 196 individuals and 33 entities, consisting of an asset freeze, a travel ban to the EU and a prohibition to make funds or economic resources available to those listed.

A ban on exports to Iran of equipment which might be used for monitoring telecommunications is also in place.

In a telephone conversation with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian said the bloc is sticking to former US president Donald Trump’s “ineffectual” policy of sanctions against Tehran.

Amir-Abdollahian slammed Brussels’ “overused and obsolete” policy regarding Iran.

“The behavior of the European Union in recent months is the continuation of Trump's ineffective Iran policy. It further proves the continuation of dual and unrealistic standards combined with the exploitation of human rights concepts,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

UK adds 8 new designations to its list of sanctions against Iran 

Also on Monday, Britain added eight new designations to its sanctions list relating to Iran for what it claimed were human rights violations.

The sanctioned individuals included three Iranian judges, three members of the IRGC, and two regional governors.

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