The European Union and Britain have unleashed sanctions against Iran as its regime of President Ebrahim Raisi continues its brutal crackdown on protesters and threatens the lives of reporters in London.

The EU’s 27 foreign ministers met in Brussels on Monday, and blacklisted 32 people and two entities they accuse of committing serious human rights violations in Iran.

It is the fifth sanctions package the EU has imposed against Iran since mass protests erupted across the Middle Eastern country this fall after Mahsa Amini was killed in police custody on Sept. 16. The 22-year-old was arrested days earlier on accusations of violating Tehran’s hijab dress code.

The anti-regime protests have been met with force by the regime, resulting in the deaths of 530 people, including 71 minors, according to the media arm of nonprofit organization Human Rights activists in Iran.

The regime has also conducted at least 81 executions so far this, according to the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights organization, which human rights advocates and Western nations have said were handed down during sham trials.

The office of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in a statement ahead of the foreign ministers meeting on Monday, that the new package intended to target parts of Iran’s judicial and security sector responsible for human rights violations committed in its act of suppressing the ongoing protests.

“The situation in Iran is devastating,” Baerbock told reporters during a doorstep interview. “It is still horrible.”

Monday’s package, she said, is in response to repression that has been specifically targeting the country’s youth and women.

EU asset freezes and travel bans now apply to 196 people and 33 entities in Iran.

“The European Union and its member states urge the Iranian authorities to stop the violent crackdown against peaceful protests, cease their resort to arbitrary detentions as a means of silencing critical voices and release all those unjustly detained,” it said in a statement.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Tehran will respond to the sanctions with its on list of those to be blacklisted.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, told reporters Monday that he had informed his Iranian counterpart a day prior that the sanctions were to be announced.

Britain on Monday separately imposed sanctions on five senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members and three judges who imposed death penalty sentences against protesters.

Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverly, unveiled the sanctions in a statement that announced he’d summoned Iran’s most senior diplomat, Charge d’Affairs Mehdi Hosseini Matin, in response to Iran International, a London-based TV network, ceasing operations in the country due to threats directed at its staff by the Iranian regime.

The statement said Vijay Rangarajan, director general for the Middle East at the foreign office, held a meeting with the Iranian diplomat “to make clear the UK will not tolerate threats to life and media freedom.”

On Saturday, the news organization announced in a statement that under an increase of threats from the Iranian government and under the advice of British law enforcement it had “reluctantly” closed its London studios and moved its broadcasting to Washington, D.C.

Iran International made the announcement months after it was informed in November that the IRGC had made credible threats against the lives of two British-Iranian journalists in the country.

“I cannot believe it has comes to this,” Mahmood Enayat, general manager of Iran International TV, said in a statement following the company’s decision to move to the United Steads. “A foreign state has caused such a significant threat to the British public on British soil that we have to move.

“Let’s be clear, this is not just a threat to our TV station, but the British public at large.”

British Security Minister Tom Tugendhat explained to Parliament that the news organization will move to the United States until its new and secure permanent location in Britain is ready.

“I can assure the House that this measure will be temporary,” he said.

Source » upi