German minister calls for EU sanctions over Iran crackdown

Germany's foreign minister is calling for European Union entry bans and asset freezes against those responsible for what she described as brutal repression against anti-government protesters in Iran.

The most sustained protests in years against Iran's theocracy are now in their fourth week. They erupted Sept. 17 after the burial of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who died in the custody of Iran's feared morality police. Amini had been detained for an alleged violation of strict Islamic dress codes for women.

Since then, protests spread across the country and have been met by a fierce crackdown, in which dozens are estimated to have been killed and hundreds arrested.

"Those who beat up women and girls on the street, carry off people who want nothing other than to live freely, arrest them arbitrarily and sentence them to death stand on the wrong side of history," German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was quoted as telling Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"We will ensure that the EU imposes entry bans on those responsible for this brutal repression and freezes their assets in the EU," she added. "We say to people in Iran: We stand and remain by your side."

Baerbock didn't name any specific individuals or organizations.

On Thursday, EU lawmakers approved a resolution calling for sanctions against those responsible for the death of Amini and the subsequent crackdown.

Germany, along with fellow EU member France, is among the nations that are part of a 2015 agreement with Iran to address concerns over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program and have been attempting to revive the deal.

Talks on the deal have languished but if it's reinstated, the agreement would provide sanctions relief that would help...

Continue reading on: