The EU and UK’s penalties over alleged use of force against protesters are “baseless” and “illegal,” Tehran has said
Iran has “strongly condemned” the EU and UK sanctions that the two powers have imposed on Tehran over its alleged crackdown on human rights, vowing to introduce “a proportional response” to this unilateral action. Iran has been engulfed by violent protests for several months now, sparked by the death in custody of a young woman who had been arrested by morality police.
In a statement on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani described the new European sanctions as “baseless” and “illegal,” adding that by enforcing such measures the West is meddling in Tehran’s internal affairs.
He also castigated Western countries for what he called their “addiction to sanctions,” adding that it had stripped them of their sense of rationality. He also warned that, by embracing such an approach, Europe “is tightening the noose” around its foreign relations.
Kanaani went on to promise that Tehran would take “effective countermeasures against such fruitless and unconstructive measures.”
His comments come after the EU on Monday announced a new package of sanctions that targeted 29 Iranian individuals and three entities, in response to what it called a “violent response to the recent demonstrations in Iran.” The restrictions, which are applied to a number of high-ranking Iranian officials, include asset freezes and travel bans.
The move was also supported by the UK, which announced on Monday that it is sanctioning 24 Iranian officials for alleged “heinous human rights violations.”
All the penalties came in response to the alleged crackdown on the protests over the death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old woman was arrested in September by Iran’s morality police over an “improper” hijab and died hours later. While the Iranian authorities claim that she died of a pre-existing medical condition, Amini’s family insists that she was beaten to death while in custody.
The incident sparked massive protests in Iran, which killed at least 304 people, including 24 women and 41 children, according to UN data. At the same time, Tehran maintains that the riots are being encouraged by Western powers, with the US in particular seeking to destabilize Iran as it did in Libya and Syria.