The sanctions of the European Union against Iran

Politics - October 18, 2022

The European Union has decided to sanction Iran for the death of Mahsa Amini and for the violence that the authorities have carried out against those who have decided to demonstrate in the square. Mahsa Amini was only 22 when she was arrested in Tehran by the so-called morality police. The reason for the arrest is because he was not wearing the hijab correctly. His hair was not completely covered. Mahsa Amini died in a Kasra hospital bed after being hospitalized for a few days. The Iranian police version claims that the girl died of a heart problem. The marks on the girl’s body, on the other hand, explain the true causes of her death. Mahsa was beaten and tortured. The data relating to the demonstrations are even more disturbing: over 201 people have died. The non-governmental organization Iran Human Rights said that among these 201 people, 23 are children. Most killed by police projects. Many others have died as a result of the violence.

In light of all this, the 27 Foreign ministers added 11 people and 4 entities to the list of those affected by the restrictive measures of the European Union. This is because they are believed to be involved, in a different way, in Mahsa’s death. The list includes 97 people and 8 entities in total. Among the new names, the most recognized are: Mohammad Rostami and Hajahmad Mirzaei, two very important figures in the Morality Police and Issa Zarepour, Minister of Information and Communications Technology. The latter’s fault was to shut down Internet access as soon as the street protests began. In addition to these three, the local heads of the Iranian law enforcement agencies were also included for having ordered the suppression of protests.

What are the measures imposed by Brussels?

The ECR Group immediately set to work to bring about a resolution that could do justice to what is happening in Iran. In addition to a firm condemnation of the violent repression and killing of Mahsa Amini, the ECR deemed it necessary to impose sanctions on Iran. The measures imposed by Brussels are: travel ban and asset freeze. Furthermore, it is absolutely forbidden for EU citizens and companies to export equipment or send funds for the purchase of tools that help repression or monitoring telecommunications.

In an official note, the European council stated that Mahsa Amini’s death must be investigated and everyone responsible for her death must answer. Furthermore, the 27 ministers condemned the disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters. “It is unjustifiable and unacceptable”, the note reads, because “citizens have the right to demonstrate peacefully”. That is why Brussels is urging Tehran to stop the repression immediately, free those who have been unjustly arrested and guarantee freedom of information. Furthermore, Iran needs to clarify the number of deaths and arrests. The latter, says the European Council, have the right to have a fair trial. Without forgetting that free access to the Internet must be restored.

Tehran’s response

The Iranian response to European sanctions was immediate. “They are a blatant interference in the country’s internal affairs” and “violate international law”, was the response of the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Minister. Tehran’s response, therefore, will be to sanction relevant European persons and entities. Furthermore, the minister added that it is a move based on “widespread disinformation”. He concluded by calling the European sanctions against Iran ineffective.