EU imposes sanctions on Iran’s morality police, minister

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police and the Islamic Republic’s information minister over their alleged roles in the security crackdown against massive anti-government protests.

Two leading Morality Police officials, Mohammad Rostami and Hajahmad Mirzaei, were among 11 people whose assets were frozen by the 27-nation bloc. They’re also banned from traveling in Europe.

The Iranian Law Enforcement Forces and a number of local police chiefs were also targeted “for their role in the brutal repression of the protests,” a statement said after EU foreign ministers endorsed the move at a meeting in Luxembourg.

Information Minister Issa Zarepour was listed for his alleged responsibility in the internet shutdown after the protests started.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the EU “cannot and will not close our eyes” to the crackdown in Iran. “It is also clear that, if this regime continues to pummel its population in this way, there will be further targeted sanctions packages against those responsible,” she said.

In the statement, the EU condemned “the widespread and disproportionate use of force against peaceful protestors. This is unjustifiable and unacceptable. People in Iran, as anywhere else, have the right to peacefully protest and this right must be ensured in all circumstances.”

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