Tehran, Iran In a strongly worded letter to the Council of the European Union, Iran formally opposes the blacklisting of certain individuals and entities and what they say is Europe’s dual standard of human rights in Iran.
The letter was written by Iran’s Senior Human Rights Council – an organization under the Supreme National Security Council of the country that is now headed by Judicial Director Ebrahim Raisi and includes a number of ministers – and is given to the Portuguese ambassador to Tehran Carlos Costa Neves. holds the presidency of the EU Council.
It was launched in response to a move on April 12 by the EU towards sanctioned eight military commanders and the sheriff, in addition to the three prisons, for their role in a deadly crackdown on the November 2019 public protests that Amnesty International says has resulted in at least 304 deaths .
The EU has now blacklisted 89 individuals and four entities as part of a decades-long human rights sanctions regime against people it says are violating human rights in Iran.
In response, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said it would immediately suspend negotiations with the EU on human rights and all results of cooperation, including issues of “terrorism”, illegal drugs and Refugees. It also sought “political intent” behind the move and said it was reviewing reciprocal sanctions.
In its letter, Iran’s human rights council condemned the EU for policies it saw as “implementing illegal and oppressive sanctions” imposed by the United States unilaterally after it pulled out of the agreement. 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers in May 2018.
The sanctions, which intensified only after the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, have hindered the import of food and drugs, in addition to creating Money transfer problem in the purchase of coronavirus vaccine.
The letter said several EU member states have imposed “intentional damage to the health and well-being of the Iranian people, especially children, women, the elderly and the disabled”.
For example, it lists the names of more than a dozen children who have died from lack of access to a key drug to treat epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare medical condition that leads to blistering of the skin and mucous membranes. .
It also describes how some European countries refuse to work or deal with Iranian companies on drugs, medical equipment, and vaccines, and said some airports were unable to provide services to them. Iran passenger plane because of US sanctions.
The Human Rights Council also condemned Iranian migrants and students for difficulty opening bank accounts in European countries based on their nationality, and said some Iranian citizens were detained in European prisons on charges of “arbitrary” and mistreatment in prison.
Furthermore, it says that the EU should definitively condemn the January 2020 assassination against top Iranian general. Qassem Soleimani by the United States as a “clear example of state terrorism” that Iran believes was supported by elements in the German government.
Among other things, the council also argued that some European nations continued to shield members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq, which Iran recognized as a “terrorist organization”, and provided chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
According to the deputy minister for international affairs at the Iran Council, the letter was intended to hold the EU accountable for its dual standards of human rights in Iran.
Seyyed Majid Tafreshi told Al Jazeera the letter focused on two things: Iran’s human rights violations within Iran and in European countries.
“Europeans who have too many human rights claims are the perpetrators of many human rights violations by Iranian citizens,” he said.
Tafreshi also said that it is not fair that the EU directs much of its attention to “obeying illegal US sanctions” while ignoring the plight of Iranians at home and abroad.
According to Tafreshi, the human rights council expects an “actionable response” to its letter, which calls on the EU to “bring those who violate Iran’s fundamental rights to trial without any politics “.
It will only “strengthen Iran’s position”, he said, if the EU does not respond appropriately.
‘Lack of knowledge’
An EU source told Al Jazeera that the EU Council has not yet received the letter, so they cannot comment on its contents.
Peter Stano, EU spokesman for foreign affairs and security policy, said it would be a mistake to claim the EU supports US sanctions against Iran.
“Quite the contrary, the EU repeatedly refuses to unilaterally impose US sanctions and discourage US efforts under the Trump administration to introduce UN sanctions,” he said. for Iran.
“And it is the EU that has always sought to provide Iran with food and medicine, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. In other words, a complete lack of knowledge and understanding. “
Stano said the list of new European sanctions was completely unrelated continued efforts to restore Iran nuclear deal.
He said: “The EU supports a balanced, comprehensive approach with Iran through dialogue to address all issues of concern including human rights. “We are very important to have differences and cooperate when we have common interests.”
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiations in Vienna have continued for several weeks, with all parties reporting progress is being made in lifting US sanctions and reversing Iran’s nuclear move despite remaining challenges.