Iran condemns EU sanctions over human rights

The EU on Tuesday imposed asset freezes, travel bans on 32 Iranian officials.

Tehran: Iran on Saturday condemned the European Union for imposing sanctions against 32 officials, dubbing it a political decision "which employs double standards”, the state broadcaster`s website reported.

"This act which follows American policies is condemned... it shows that the European Union is distancing itself from making policy independently," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

"This action is a political one which employs double standards and it is unacceptable."

The European Union on Tuesday imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 32 Iranian officials, saying they had been involved in human rights violations.

"This EU and US action was taken to deflect public opinion from blatant and numerous human rights violations in Western countries and in the region including Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as crimes committed by the Zionist regime against Palestinians," Mehmanparast added.

The EU measures were decided at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg, and followed similar US sanctions imposed last September.

Last month, the EU ministers had already agreed in principle to the sanctions, when they voiced concern about the "deterioration" of human rights in Iran.

They also voiced alarm over the "dramatic increase in executions in recent months and the systematic repression of Iranian citizens”.

Iran is already under a raft of UN sanctions for refusing to halt its controversial programme of uranium enrichment.

The United States and the European Union added their own unilateral sanctions on top of the UN measures last year.

Western powers accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran denies the charge, insisting its programme is a peaceful effort to produce civilian energy.

Washington slapped sanctions on eight Iranian officials last year, including current and former ministers, accusing them of committing serious human rights violations during the disputed Presidential Elections of 2009.

Bureau Report

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