EU Member States Propose Sanctions On Iran For Rights Abuses, But No Action Expected For Two Weeks

(New York, N.Y.) —European Union (EU) member states have submitted 16 proposals for new EU sanctions on Iranian institutions and officials. The proposals come in response to Iran’s killing of at least 133 people—including children—mass arrests, and other measures to suppress demonstrations sparked by the murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s so-called “morality police.” The proposals submitted by Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Italy, and the Czech Republic will be considered at an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on October 17 amid fears that Tehran will order a harsher crackdown reminiscent of its response to fuel price protests in 2019, which left some 1,500 dead.

To read United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)’s resource Iran’s War On Protesters: Death, Detention, and Darkness, please click here.

The spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said Iranian security forces had “responded [to the protests] at times with live ammunition,” corroborating social media accounts flowing from Iran despite the state-imposed widespread internet shutdown. Eyewitness reports indicate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Basij paramilitary joined "plainclothes” security officials in perpetrating attacks.

The regime’s security forces have not only employed indiscriminate violence to disperse crowds of protesters, but also targeted individuals symbolizing the opposition. Multiple sources revealed that Hadis Najafi, a 23-year-old woman whose support for the protests went viral on social media, was killed in the city of Karaj. She reportedly sustained injuries to the heart, neck, abdomen, and hand. 

The international community has reacted haphazardly to the regime’s brutality. The United States and Canada recently sanctioned the “morality police” and senior Iranian officials. The EU and the United Kingdom, however, have failed to act to date, and the United States, EU, and the United Kingdom have failed to harmonize their existing human rights sanctions against Iranian leaders and institutions, making the sanctions less effective.  

To further efforts to hold Tehran accountable for its human rights abuses, UANI leadership and Advisory Board members, including Iran hostage crisis survivor Barry Rosen, signed an open letter last week to the German government calling on Berlin to impose new sanctions, suspend trade relations, and expel Iranian officials, among other actions.  

To view UANI’s Iran Human Rights Sanctions Tracker, a comprehensive, searchable, and sortable database of regime officials sanctioned for human rights violations, please click here.