Wednesday, April 13, 2011

EU calls sanctions on Iranian officials

The meeting of EU foreign ministers, April 14, 2011, Luxembourg

Source: Press TV

The European Union has imposed a new round of sanctions, including asset freeze and travel bans, against 32 Iranian officials over what they claim as human rights abuses.

The measures were adopted at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

The names of the 32 individuals have not been made public.

Iranian officials have dismissed such measures as more of a political publicity campaigns against the Islamic Republic and part of an effort to pressure Iran into giving up its rights to continue with its civilian nuclear program.

Iran also insists that multiple sanctions measures previously adopted by the US and Europe have been proven futile, as the country's economy and nuclear program remain on track and making steady progress.

Moreover, a number of Iranian officials that were previously targeted with sanctions and 'freeze of assets' mocked the effort, saying that they have never held accounts in Western financial institutions.

The EU wanted to hit back at the "appalling human rights record of Iran," British Foreign Secretary William Hague claimed on the sidelines of the foreign ministerial meeting on Wednesday.

The 27-nation bloc "is agreeing today restrictive measures on 32 individuals in Iran we believe are responsible and instrumental in these policies," Hague added.

In March, Under the US pressure, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on voted for the appointment of a special human rights rapporteur for the Islamic Republic.

The motion was approved with 22 votes in favor, seven against, including China, Russia and Cuba, and 14 abstentions.

Iran denounced the resolution as an “unfair “adoption of a US-sponsored resolution against Iran at the UNHRC.

The United States commonly intimidates other countries with threats of sanctions and cutting economic aid in order to obtain their affirmative votes on US-sponsored measures in international organizations.

Iranian officials believe that the resolution was aimed at putting pressure on the Islamic Republic and to further side track the current process of the UNHRC periodic review of the human rights situation in the world.

On February 24, the US imposed sanctions against two top Iranian officials, Commander of Iran's Basij Force Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Naqdi and Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi over what it called human rights violation during the 2009 post-election unrest in Iran.

Many leaders and instigators of the 2009 unrest later confessed to being funded and instructed by European and American government operatives and NGO's.

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