EU pressures Iranian leaders with more sanctions

  • EU ministers tighten sanctions against Iran
  • Macron: repression makes it more difficult to relaunch the nuclear agreement
  • Students demonstrate in favor of a blogger

DUBAI, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Iran’s religious leaders faced growing international pressure on Monday over their crackdown on protests, with the European Union imposing additional sanctions on the Islamic Republic and the French president calling the unrest a revolution.

The nationwide protests, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in vice police custody on September 16 after her arrest for “inappropriate dress”, have turned into a crisis of legitimacy for the clerical establishment which took power more than four decades ago.

“Something unprecedented is happening,” Frenchman Emmanuel Macron told France Inter radio. “The grandchildren of the revolution make a revolution and devour it.”

Macron said the crackdown on Iran’s leaders would make it harder to reach a deal on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, which would give Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

“This revolution changes a lot of things,” Macron said. “I don’t think there will be any new proposals that can be made right now to salvage the nuclear deal.”

Speaking after meeting four Iranian women activists in Paris over the weekend, Macron said more European Union sanctions would be adopted in response to Tehran’s actions.

Women and students have played a leading role in calling for the fall of the Islamist regime under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in defiance of a harsh crackdown by security forces.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman slammed Macron on Saturday after meeting the activists, calling his stance “shameful” and a violation of France’s responsibilities in the fight against terrorism.


The European Union hit Iran with new sanctions, targeting 29 people and three organisations, in response to what it condemned as Tehran’s widespread use of force against peaceful protesters.

The EU said those sanctioned with travel bans and asset freezes included Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, four members of the team that arrested Amini and high-ranking members of the security guards. the revolution – the main paramilitary force tasked with protecting the Shiite clergy. system of government.

The sanctions aim “to send a clear message to those who think they can repress, intimidate and kill their own people without consequences”, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters in Brussels.

Meanwhile, Iran has summoned the German ambassador to protest German Chancellor Olaf Sholz’s remarks on Saturday when he criticized the leaders for their crackdown.

The militant HRANA news agency said 341 protesters had been killed in the unrest, including 52 minors. Iranian authorities have given no figures on those killed or injured during the protests. They neither denied nor confirmed the HRANA reports on the death toll.

HRANA said 39 members of the security forces had been killed and more than 15,820 people had been arrested during protests in 140 towns and villages and 138 universities on Sunday.

Iranian leaders blame foreign enemies, including the United States, for what they call riots.

Eight weeks after the protests began, students staged a sit-in at Sharif University in Tehran to protest against the arrest of other students and to support the protest movement, HRANA said.

In a letter published by the Emtedad news site, some 2,300 graduate students from Amirkabir University in Tehran urged the authorities to release the detained students.

A video shared by HRANA on Monday shows students gathered at the University of Medical Sciences in the city of Qazvin, shouting slogans in support of activist and blogger Hossein Ronaghi. Reuters could not verify the authenticity of the video.

He was transferred to a hospital in Tehran on Sunday from Evin prison, where he has been held since his arrest in September. His brother said on Twitter that Ronaghi had been on a hunger strike for over 50 days and both his legs were broken in jail.

However, court news agency Mizan said “Ronaghi will soon be discharged from hospital and his health is fine.” He said all claims that his legs were broken are false.

Justice released a photo of Ronaghi’s mother visiting him in a hospital room.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel and John Irish in Paris and Dubai newsroom; Written by Michael Georgy; Editing by Alison Williams and Andrew Cawthorne

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