Brussels stopped short of labeling Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group in its latest raft of Iran sanctions. Meanwhile, the UK summoned a top Iranian diplomat over alleged threats to UK-based reporters.
The European Union on Monday imposed new sanctions on Iranian officials and entities for their role in the violent crackdown against public protests in the Islamic Republic.
The new sanctions target 32 people and two entities and include the culture and Islamic guidance minister, the education minister and other politicians and officials supporting the crackdown.
The latest raft of sanctions brings the total to 196 individuals and 33 entities in Iran.
However, the bloc decided against the initiative to label Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group. "As of now, we don't have legal grounds in the EU to list the Revolutionary Guards as terrorist organization," German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said following the summit in Brussels.
Shortly after the EU officials made the announcements, the UK added eight new designations to its sanctions list relating to Iran. Some of the UK sanctions are targeting the region's judges for what London said were human rights violations.
Iran International TV to leave London due to threats
Additionally, the UK government has summoned Iran's most senior diplomat in London over what it said were serious threats against journalists living in Britain. On Saturday, a London-based television station critical of the Iranian government said it was moving its studios to the US following threats from Tehran. "I am appalled by the Iranian regime's continuing threats to the lives of UK-based journalists and have today summoned its representative to make clear this will not be tolerated," Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.
Acting on advice from London's Metropolitan Police, Iran International TV "reluctantly" closed its studios in the capital after state-backed threats, a statement said, as safety concerns made it no longer possible to protect the broadcaster's staff and the surrounding public.
Last month Iran executed a former Iranian deputy defense minister with dual British-Iranian nationality after convicting him of spying for the UK.
Protests erupt again in Iran
Iran has witnessed a wave of protests in recent months following the death of 22-year-old Jina Mahsa Amini while in police custody. After a brief lull in the unrest, demonstrators last week marched in several Iranian cities, this time over the executions of protesters Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini, who were hanged in January.
Protests kicked off in Iran in September, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested by Iran's morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic's strict dress code.
At least 529 people have been killed in demonstrations, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA), a group that's been tracking the crackdown, while more than 19,700 people have been detained by authorities.
Second publication by courtesy of Deutsche Welle, Original-Text