Following a meeting on Friday, the Foreign Ministers of the 27-nation bloc added the names of seventeen Iranian officials to an already existing asset freeze and travel ban “for serious human rights violations,” bringing the total to 78.
The European Union Council also banned “exports of equipment and software intended for use in the monitoring or interception of internet and telephone communications” by the Iranian state. The EU’s High Representative Catherine Ashton said that the EU was “deeply concerned” over the worsening human rights situation in Iran.
“We deplore the continuing increase in executions and the widespread repression of Iranian citizens, including human rights defenders, journalists and members of the opposition. We renew our calls on the Iranian authorities to live up to their international human rights obligations and to protect all fundamental freedoms to which the Iranian people are entitled.”
On Thursday, the United Nations renewed the mandate of its human rights investigator Ahmad Shaheed for Iran. Following a vote at the UN Human Rights Council, Shaheed’s term as special rapporteur was extended for another year.
Up until now, the former Maldives Foreign Minister has been denied entry into Iran. “The deteriorating situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to be of great concern. We regret that the special rapporteur, Dr. Shaheed, has not been given access to the country,” Swedish diplomat, Irina Schoulgin Nyoni, said at the meeting.
“We strongly encourage the Iranian authorities to engage in dialogue and cooperation with this important mechanism of the Human Rights Council.”