Due to growing “anti-hijab” protests in Iran, the European Union is looking to issue new sanctions against top Iranian officials. The potential sanctions come in response to a strict crackdown on protestors that have left more than 130 Iranian dead so far.
The sanctions would include things like freezing assets and banning travel for head security officials. French Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna said of the sanctions, “France’s action of heart of EU…(is) to target those responsible for the crackdown by holding them responsible for their actions.”
The protests began 3 weeks ago after the funeral of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who died in police custody. She had been detained for improperly wearing her hijab. The protests have grown in size and have reached unprecedented numbers and have stretched across both universities and cities.
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The United States and Canada both imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police and top officials of law enforcement agencies. Those sanctions could soon be added to by the EU. In remarks made on Monday, President Biden promised to levy more sanctions against Iranian leaders saying he was, “gravely concerned about reports of the intensifying violent crackdown on peaceful protestors in Iran, including students and women, who are demanding their equal rights and basic human dignity.”
Tehran has accused the U.S. and Israel of planning and inciting the protests as an attempt to eventually overthrow the Islamic Republic. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Tweeted on Monday, “Our country’s great advantage is that our security is built from within. The US mistakenly imagines they know Iran. They inject their poison, but their schemes won’t work.”
The protestors, which are mostly students and women, have taken to chanting “Death to Khamenei” and “Death to the dictator” during confrontations with security officials. There have also been reports of police using live ammunition to control the protests.
Despite the White House vowing to support the Iranian people, many Iranians doubt that the U.S. will stand behind its statements given historical evidence to the contrary.