European Union ministers agreed Monday on a new set of sanctions against Iran during this month’s EU Foreign Affairs Council, said the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU in an online statement. The sanctions follow a call by the European Parliament to add the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other Iranian officials to the EU terrorist list, as protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini continue.
Chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrel, the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels began Monday. Ministers exchanged views regarding Russian aggression against Ukraine and current affairs in Iran, among other international developments.
In a statement on Twitter, the Swedish EU Presidency stated that new sanctions against Iran were agreed upon in order to target “those driving the repression” in the country. “The EU strongly condemns the brutal and disproportionate use of force by Iranian authorities against peaceful protestors,” they added.
European officials have previously urged the EU to introduce severe sanctions against Iran following the death sentences, public executions, and arrests of peaceful demonstrators participating in the Masha Amini protests. Such demonstrations have continued since Amini’s arrest and subsequent death in September. Norway-based human rights organisation Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) put the death toll at a minimum of 476 at the end of December 2022.
Speaking to the press prior to the meeting, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Tobias Billstrom commented “I would like to emphasise that we of course support, fully, the demonstrations in Iran. We believe that peaceful demonstrations have a right to [be] performed.”