Germany tightens restrictions on Iran over 'brutal' treatment of Mahsa Amini protesters

Foreign minister vows there will be 'no business as usual' with Tehran amid worsening crackdown on demonstrators

Protesters hold a march in Berlin in solidarity with the Iranian demonstrators. Getty
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Germany on Wednesday tightened entry restrictions on Iran over what it called an ever more brutal suppression of protesters.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said there could be no "business as usual" in dealings with Iran after reports of 250 deaths and more than 13,000 arrests since the middle of last month.

The protests were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, who died in the custody of Iran's morality police on September 16.

The European Union has already imposed sanctions on Iranian authorities but Ms Baerbock said Germany was widening its own measures.

Visas will not be granted to holders of diplomatic passports unless absolutely necessary, while Iranian organisations blacklisted by the EU will face further barriers to entry.

Germany's cultural and educational presence in Iran will be scaled back and forums for German-Iranian dialogue in economic and energy matters will be closed down.

Meanwhile, Germany will support activists in gathering evidence of alleged breaches of human rights and push for a response at UN level.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said there could be no business as usual with Iran. EPA

Exiled civil society groups in countries neighbouring Iran will be offered support, Ms Baerbock said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Repression of women and minorities in Iran is not new but is reaching a new level and German citizens in Iran could also find themselves in danger, she said.

"Day by day, the human rights situation is worsening in Iran and security forces are dealing ever more brutally with men and women on the street who want nothing more than their universal human rights," she said.

"There can be no business as usual in bilateral relations with a state that deals with its own citizens in this inhumane way."

EU diplomats are working on a second phase of sanctions that will target more people accused of complicity in the crackdown, Germany said.

Thousands of opponents of the Iranian government held a protest against the regime in Berlin on Saturday in solidarity with the Amini demonstrations.

The US and Britain have adopted similar sanctions to the European measures.

Updated: October 26, 2022, 5:52 PM
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