European Union foreign ministers on Monday agreed a new package of sanctions against Iran over its crackdown on demonstrations and human rights abuses, as confirmed by the Swedish government, which chairs the union this semester. “The EU strongly condemns the brutal and disproportionate use of force by the Iranian authorities against peaceful protesters,” the Swedish Presidency said in a tweet. The restrictive measures, which come on top of others imposed in recent months, focus on those individuals and organizations directly involved in the crackdown on peaceful protests that have resulted in the deaths of at least 481 people in Iran in recent months, it said the Oslo-based NGO Iran Human Rights.
The list presented by EL PAÍS was reviewed this Monday by the headlines of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission and the Foreign Action Service. It included nearly twenty people and as many units, including the regional branches of the Revolutionary Guards, the paramilitary body that has been one of the pillars of Iran’s power machine and has played a prominent role in suppressing protests by the death of young Mahsa Amini, who died in the died in custody of the Morality Police last September after being arrested for wearing the headscarf “inappropriately”.
The new sanctions package comes at a time when debate is mounting over including the Revolutionary Guards on the list of terrorist organizations in the EU, a designation favored by Germany, for example, the minister said. Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock. “In Iran we still see a brutal regime against its own people. The Iranian regime, the Revolutionary Guard, is terrorizing its own people every day.” The European Parliament has on previous occasions called for this paramilitary organization to be declared a terrorist entity.
This Monday, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, recalled that the EU cannot take this decision without first having one or more Member States or a national court declaring the Revolutionary Guards terrorists. “It’s something that can’t be decided without a court, a court decision first. You can’t say that I think you’re a terrorist because I don’t like you,” Borrell said at the entrance to the Foreign Council in Brussels.
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