EU ministers have agreed on a new package of sanctions against Iran, the Swedish EU presidency said.
“Ministers adopted a new package of sanctions against Iran, targeting those driving the repression. The EU strongly condemns the brutal and disproportionate use of force by the Iranian authorities against peaceful protesters,” the presidency said in a tweet, without giving further detail.
Sources told Reuters last week that EU foreign ministers would add 37 individual entries to the EU’s sanctions against Iran at their meeting on Monday.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief earlier said the EU cannot list Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist entity until an EU court has determined that they are.
The European Parliament had called on the EU to list the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist entity, blaming it for the repression of domestic protests and the supply of drones to Russia.
“It is something that cannot be decided without a court, a court decision first. You cannot say I consider you a terrorist because I don’t like you,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, told reporters as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
He said the court of an EU member had to issue a concrete legal condemnation before the EU itself could act.
The IRGC was set up shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution to protect the Shi’ite clerical ruling system and provide a counterweight to the regular armed forces.
It has an estimated 125,000-strong military with army, navy and air units. It also commands the Basij religious militia, a volunteer paramilitary force loyal to the clerical establishment which is often used to crack down on anti-government protests.
Arriving at the same meeting, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the EU must talk about putting the IRGC on the sanctions list.
“We still see in Iran a brutal regime against its own population. The Iranian regime, the Revolutionary Guards terrorise their own population day after day,” Ms Baerbock said.
Relations between EU member states and Tehran have deteriorated as efforts to revive nuclear talks have stalled.
Tehran has also detained several European nationals and the bloc has become increasingly critical of its continuing violent crackdown on protesters and the transfer of Iranian drones to Russia.
Journalists arrested amid protests
Iranian authorities have arrested three female journalists in the past two days, local media said, amid months of protests triggered by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.
Iran has been gripped by protests since the 16 September death of Ms Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who had been arrested by morality police for allegedly breaching the country’s strict dress code for women.
Authorities say hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed and thousands arrested during what they label as “riots” incited by the “enemies” of the Islamic republic.
“In the past 48 hours, at least three female journalists, namely Melika Hashemi, Saideh Shafiei and Mehrnoush Zarei, have been arrested in Tehran,” reformist newspaper Etemad quoted the Tehran journalists’ union as saying.
The paper said the three women had been transferred to Evin prison, where many of those arrested in connection with the protests are being held.
It estimated that about 80 journalists have been arrested since the start of the unrest in the country four months ago.
No details were given on the reasons for the latest arrests.
Source » rte