Germany's Chancellor Scholz favours new package of sanctions against Iran

Leader has criticised Iran's handling of the country's protests

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says he favours new sanctions against Iran. EPA
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz strongly criticised the Iranian government on Saturday for its clampdown against protests in the country.

He said Germany stood “shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people”.

Mr Scholz said Iran would receive additional sanctions for its actions against protesters and its decision to send hundreds of drones to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine.

EU foreign ministers are expected to agree on additional sanctions when they meet on Monday.

“We want to continue to step up the pressure on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the political leadership,” Mr Scholz said in a video posted on Twitter.

“We must look and act when human rights are violated: we see the courageous struggle of the Iranians for more freedom and justice and the brutal violence against them.

“We are also increasing the pressure on the regime with sanctions.”

He said the continuing protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September following her detention by Iran's morality police were no longer “merely a question of dress codes” but had become a fight for freedom and justice.

“We can barely begin to imagine how much courage this takes,” Mr Scholz said in his weekly video address.

“More than 300 killed, dozens of death sentences and more than 14,000 arrests. So far. Those who demonstrate against oppression in Iran risk their lives, and often also the lives of their loved ones — and face the prospect of torture and decades in prison.”

Hundreds of thousands of people in Germany with Iranian roots fear for their relatives and are “appalled and disgusted by what the regime is doing to the demonstrators”, the chancellor said.

“It is clear that the Iranian government is solely responsible for this spate of violence.”

The EU is preparing sanctions against about 30 more Iranian individuals and entities at Monday's meeting of foreign affairs ministers, authorities said.

The latest sanctions package will come less than a month after the European Council announced measures against senior Iranian officials and entities for their role in the repression of anti-government protesters.

Updated: November 12, 2022, 6:02 PM