Protests in Iran: EU adopts new sanctions


Further punitive measures have been imposed against Iran, including against the IT company Arvan Cloud. Revolutionary Guards are not listed yet.

Soldiers in green uniforms stand in line - Ayatollah Khameini, accompanied by commanders in uniform, walks past the soldiers

Iran’s “Supreme Leader” Khamenei (in turban) with commanders of the armed forces in Tehran, October Photo: Iranian Supreme Leader’s Office/dpa

BRUSSELS taz | Against the background of massive repression in Iran, the EU has increased the pressure the mullah regime increased again. At their meeting in Brussels on Monday, EU foreign ministers decided to impose sanctions on 29 people and three organizations linked to the violent repression of the protests. It’s the second fine in a month.

The new sanctions hit “the inner circle of power of the Revolutionary Guards,” he said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. “We are sending a new and unequivocal signal to the Iranian regime,” she said.

Among the new organizations on the sanctions list is also the Iranian IT company Arvan Cloud, to which the taz researched together with Correctiv and netzpolitik.org. The EU is now accusing the company of helping the Iranian government build a national Internet.

Arvan Cloud was “involved in the Iranian government’s censorship and efforts to shut down the internet in response to recent protests in Iran,” the statement said. The company is also associated with people responsible for serious human rights violations in Iran.

Death Sentence for “Corruption on Earth”

In Iran, meanwhile, a death sentence on Sunday imposed in connection with the protests against the country’s leadership. A court in the capital Tehran has pronounced the death penalty, the judicial authority said on its website Misan Online on Sunday.

The convicted person was found guilty, among other things, of setting fire to a government building, “disturbing public order” and threatening “national security”. She is also accused of “corruption on earth” and being an “enemy of God” – one of the most serious criminal offenses under Iranian law. Nothing was known about the identity or the age of the convict(s).

“That’s cruel,” Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn commented on the verdict at the meeting in Brussels on Monday. The EU will not rest and will hold Tehran accountable.

There is talk of not only punishing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, but also putting them on the EU terror list. However, the legal situation is “complex”, admitted Baerbock. Therefore, this step was postponed again. Those responsible believed that “they could suppress, intimidate and kill their own people without consequences,” Baerbock was outraged. However, this is a mistake.

No EU strategy recognizable

According to the non-governmental organization Iran Human Rights, at least 326 people have been killed in the protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini in September. In the meantime, it is no longer just about wearing the headscarf and other controversial rules of the moral police. Many demonstrators are also demanding the fall of the Islamist regime.

However, the EU has not adopted this demand as its own. She reacts to the repression; no strategy has yet been identified. This is also because that until recently, Europeans were hoping for a revival of the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA).. In order to save the nuclear agreement and thus peace in the region, it is important not to mess with Tehran once and for all, it said in Brussels.

The deal is now on hold, and tensions between Iran and Israel have escalated massively. The Iranian arms deliveries to Russia provide further explosive material. Because of Iranian drones, the EU had already imposed further sanctions, regardless of the new sanctions that have now been decided. Further penalties could follow, indicated the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Borrell wanted to present the ministers with new evidence of Iranian arms deliveries. The meeting in Brussels on Monday also dealt with the situation in Ukraine after the Russian withdrawal from Kherson. Borrell opposed a diplomatic initiative. “Ukraine must decide for itself what to do next,” said the Spaniard. “Our duty is to support them.” (with agencies/collaboration: Jean-Philipp Baeck)



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