BERLIN — Germany will ensure the European Union freezes the assets of those responsible for a violent crackdown on anti-government protests in Iran and bans their entry to the bloc, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told a German Sunday newspaper.
Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic have submitted 16 proposals for new EU sanctions against Iran for its clampdown on protests ignited by the death in policy custody of a young woman, a German foreign ministry source said last week.
Those proposing the sanctions are aiming for the EU foreign ministers to decide on them at their meeting on Oct. 17, with no resistance expected from the members of the bloc.
The protests, which initially focused on women’s rights, have spiraled into the biggest show of opposition to Iran’s authorities in years, with many calling for the end of more than four decades of Islamic clerical rule.
On Saturday, female students in Tehran chanted “get lost” as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited their university campus on Saturday and condemned protesters enraged by the death of a young woman in custody, videos on social media showed.
“Those who beat up women and girls on the street, who abduct, arbitrarily imprison and condemn to death people who want nothing other than to live free – they stand on the wrong side of history,” Baerbock told Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
“To those people in Iran we say: we stand by you, and will continue to do so,” she said.
Baerbock, who has vowed to pursue a feminist foreign policy, has faced criticism at home for an initially muted reaction to the protests. (Reporting by Birgit Mitwollen; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)