ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Iran blasts EU’s new ‘unacceptable and groundless’ sanctions over protest crackdown

Iranian foreign ministry claims response to unrest, in which hundreds are believed to have been killed, is ‘based on respect for human rights’

Iranian police arrive to disperse a protest to mark 40 days since the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, in Tehran, Iran, October 26, 2022. (Frame grab from video taken by an individual not employed by The Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran/AP Photo)
Iranian police arrive to disperse a protest to mark 40 days since the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, in Tehran, Iran, October 26, 2022. (Frame grab from video taken by an individual not employed by The Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran/AP Photo)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran condemned the European Union on Thursday for imposing new sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its response to protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.

Protests have swept Iran since the September 16 death of Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the Islamic Republic’s dress code for women.

Officials in the country say hundreds of people have been killed in the street violence, including dozens of security forces, and thousands have been arrested.

The EU announced on Monday sanctions targeting Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB, its army chief, Revolutionary Guards commanders and a cleric over what it called the “repression” of the protests.

Iran’s foreign ministry hit back on Thursday, branding the 27-member bloc’s move as “unacceptable and groundless.”

“Iran’s police and security forces have tried to control rampant violence in accordance with very precise and specific rules of conduct… as well as our religious teachings, based on respect for human rights and the rights of every individual,” it said in a statement.

An Iranian protester holds a gallow during a torchlight procession for the Nobel Peace Prize laureates, in front of the Grand Hotel in Oslo, Norway, December 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Courts in Iran have sentenced 11 people to death in connection with the protests, and two people have been executed in the past week. Campaigners say a dozen other defendants face charges that could see them also receive the death penalty.

The EU also slapped sanctions on eight drone makers and air force commanders accused of being involved in supplying UAVs to Russia for its war in Ukraine.

Iran, however, maintains it has not sent any weapons to Russia to be used in the conflict.

The Islamic Republic’s “fundamental position in the Ukraine crisis is to support the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the need to end the conflict through political solutions,” the foreign ministry said.

“As has been repeatedly emphasized by the authorities, we have not provided any drones to be used in the Ukraine war,” it added.

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