Activist countries

EU countries back new sanctions on Iran over crackdown on protests, sources say

BRUSSELS — European Union countries have backed additional sanctions against Iran following the violent crackdown on anti-government protests, several EU diplomats told the German Press Agency on Friday.

The punitive measures are expected to affect 31 individuals and entities, including, for example, senior police and Basij paramilitary forces.

Those targeted will be banned from traveling to the bloc and will have their assets in the EU frozen.

The group of permanent representatives of EU member states in Brussels unanimously adopted the plans on Friday, diplomats said.

Final confirmation is expected to come Monday from European Union foreign ministers.

Nationwide protests in Iran were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in September. The 22-year-old Kurdish woman died after being detained by Iranian vice police because her headscarf allegedly did not meet the country’s strict rules on public dress for women.

Hundreds of people have been killed since the protests began, according to human rights activists, and more than 14,000 arrested.

This is the third time in recent weeks that the EU has imposed punitive measures on Iran.

On October 17, the bloc adopted sanctions against Tehran following the crackdown on protesters. Eleven individuals and four entities were sanctioned, including two members of the morality police, as well as the Iranian Minister of Information and Communication.

Three days later, the EU adopted additional measures regarding Iran’s supply of drones to Russia which were allegedly used in strikes against critical Ukrainian infrastructure.

The sanctions related to the protests and Ukraine come on top of years of earlier measures against Tehran imposed by the EU.

The EU has repeatedly imposed sanctions since the United Nations began passing resolutions demanding Tehran stop enriching uranium for nuclear proliferation in 2006.

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

Currently, 97 individuals and eight entities are subject to travel bans and asset freezes due to “serious human rights violations in Iran”, according to a European Council press release.