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EU expected to sanction Iran for crackdown on protests


EU expected to sanction Iran for crackdown on protests

EU officials fear sanctions on Iran in response to human rights abuses could disincentivize Iran's cooperation in multilateral agreements.
Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The EU will today implement a set of sanctions on Iran.

The sanctions package will include asset freezes on Iranian officials. They come alongside a wider denunciation of Iran’s political system, with MEPs criticizing the “systematic discrimination” against women and minority groups. Iran has pressured EU diplomats to abandon the measures and warned that the move would rupture bilateral ties. Several countries in the bloc have already expressed doubts as to Iran’s commitment to its 2015 nuclear deal. 

The penalties come in response to Tehran’s handling of the protests against the death while in policy custody of Mahsa Amini. Iranian morality police allegedly arrested her for improperly wearing her hijab. Iranian authorities are estimated to have killed at least 150 people since the protests began. 

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As widespread media coverage has led to high levels of support for the protesters, other Western countries are likely to follow in the EU’s suit, imposing their own sanctions. However, given Iran’s history of violent crackdowns on dissent, even following the imposition of sanctions, it is likely that Tehran will continue with its aggressive handling of the protests. EU sanctions also risk incentivizing Iran to renege on any multilateral agreements, most notably its nuclear deal.

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