EU widens Iran sanctions list in response to crackdown

Jan 22, 2023, 1:14 PM | Updated: Jan 23, 2023, 8:46 am
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting...

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. EU foreign ministers are meeting to discuss support for Ukraine, including more money to help buy weapons, and the crackdown on demonstrators in Iran. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on dozens of Iranian officials and organizations, including a government minister, regional governors and lawmakers, suspected in the security crackdown on protestors, but did not add Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to its terror group blacklist.

At a meeting in Brussels, EU foreign ministers agreed to slap a travel ban and asset freeze on Iran’s Sports and Youth Minister Hamid Sajjadi, accusing him of pressuring Iran’s athletes into silence, including an Iranian climber who competed without Islamic headdress at a competition in Seoul.

The Iranian Special Police Forces were also targeted, accused of using “excessive violence and lethal force against unarmed protestors, including women and children … by firing automatic weapons at protestors.”

Another asset freeze was imposed on the Headquarters for Enjoining Right and Forbidding Evil, an Iranian government institution that the EU believes is responsible “for determining and enforcing excessively strict behavioral models in society.”

Companies linked to cyber security, spyware, social media filtering, and the production of security equipment allegedly used in the crackdown were also hit. Restrictive measures were slapped on senior officers from the Revolutionary Guard and some of its regional units.

The 27-nation bloc had already imposed three rounds of sanctions on Iranian officials and organizations — including ministers, military officers and Iran’s morality police — for human rights abuses over the protests that erupted in Iran in mid-September over the death of Mahsa Amini.

The 22-year-old woman died after being arrested by the morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. Women have played a leading role in the protests, with many publicly removing the compulsory Islamic headscarf, known as the hijab.

At least four people have been executed since the demonstrations began, following rapid, closed-door trials. At least 519 people have been killed and more than 19,200 others arrested, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that’s been monitoring the rallies.

The movement has become one of the greatest challenges to Iran’s Shiite theocracy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The move means that the EU’s sanctions now apply to a total of 164 people and 31 “entities,” like agencies, companies or banks. A ban on exports to Iran of equipment which might be used in the crackdown or for monitoring telecommunications is also in place.

But the ministers did not move forward on blacklisting the Guard, despite last week’s appeal from the European Parliament for them to do so.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who chaired the meeting, said that this could only happen once a court in a member country hands down a ruling condemning the Guard for terror acts.

“It is something that cannot be decided without a court decision first,” he told reporters.

European officials also fear that blacklisting the Guard would all but end the slim hopes the bloc might have of resuscitating the Iran nuclear agreement, which has been on ice since the Trump administration withdrew from the internationally-backed accord in 2018.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg expressed regret about Tehran’s recent actions, and backed the plan to impose new sanctions.

Iran, Schallenberg said, “is on a collision course, with not only the international community, as far as the safeties of the nuclear program are concerned, but also with its own people, with the brutal crackdown of the civil society movement.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
15 hours ago
FILE - An Amazon company logo on the company's building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany, March ...
Associated Press

Amazon violated labor law with delivery app

A Spanish court has ruled that Amazon broke labor laws by forcing more than 2,000 delivery drivers to use an app that the company controlled for scheduling work and payments and requiring them to use their own cars and cellphones on the job.
15 hours ago
Bulgaria's Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev, left and the health minister Assen Medjidiev, second...
Associated Press

North Macedonia honors hero also claimed by Bulgaria

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia on Saturday marked the birthday of a 19th century revolutionary amid tight security in the capital of Skopje due to fears of clashes between opposing nationalist groups from North Macedonia and Bulgaria. Both countries have claims on the historic figure, Gotse Delchev, who opposed Ottoman rule in the […]
15 hours ago
Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Jennifer Coolidge, center, rides in a parade ...
Associated Press

Hasty Pudding celebrates Coolidge as its Woman of the Year

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — “The White Lotus” actress Jennifer Coolidge is being celebrated Saturday as the 2023 Woman of the Year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals. As the oldest theatrical organization in the nation and one of the oldest in the world, since 1951, Hasty Pudding Theatricals has bestowed this award annually on women […]
2 days ago
Members of the ground crew secure the site after a United airlines flight made an emergency landing...
Associated Press

Engine problems force Vegas-bound flight to land in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A United Airlines flight headed from Chicago to Las Vegas made an unplanned stop in Nebraska on Saturday after the pilot reported engine problems. Mark Grant, a communications operator at the Lincoln Airport, said 326 passengers and crew members were aboard the Boeing 777 when it took off from O’Hare International […]
2 days ago
CORRECTS TO KINGSTOWN, NOT KINGSTON - In this photo provided by Brian Branch, a large balloon drift...
Associated Press

Eyes on the sky as Chinese balloon shot down over Atlantic

Eyes were locked on the Carolina skies Saturday as the suspected Chinese spy balloon that traversed the U.S. over the past week drifted over the Atlantic Ocean and was shot down by a fighter jet. In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a crowd lining the beach boardwalk cheered as the balloon was struck by a missile […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
EU widens Iran sanctions list in response to crackdown