Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Scholz says Germany will support more EU Iran sanctions – DW – 11/12/2022

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz criticized Iran’s authorities on Saturday and said Germany would support further EU sanctions against the country. The new measures are expected to be discussed in the coming week, starting on Monday.

Speaking amid roughly eight weeks of protests initially triggered by the death of Kurdish student Jina Mahsa Amini, Scholz said that the protests “have long ceased to be merely a question of dress codes.” 

“Pupils, students, mothers, fathers, grandparents — all of them are fighting on the streets for more freedom and justice,” Scholz said. “Here in our country, we can barely begin to imagine how much courage this takes. More than 300 killed, dozens of death sentences, and more than 14,000 arrests — so far.” 

What else did Scholz say? 

“It is clear that the Iranian government is solely responsible for this spate of violence,” Scholz said, adding that as member of the United Nations, Iran had committed to uphold and protect human rights and that this was the “yardstick” against which Germany would measure it. 

Scholz alluded to his speech at the UN General Assembly in September, when he said it was necessary to pay heed and to take action when human rights are violated. 

Screenshot of Olaf Scholz from his
Scholz said Germany was both watching events in Iran, and was preparing suitable reactions tooImage: Bundesregierung

He said that as well as witnessing events in Iran, the international community had been responding with sanctions focused on “all those who are responsible for this violence against their own people.” 

Scholz said Germany would support further sanctions scheduled to be announced next week. He said Germany as pushing for a special session of the UN Human Rights Council to be convened as well; this was announced on Friday and is expected to take place later in November. And Scholz noted that Iranian drones were being used by Russia to attack cities in Ukraine, which Iran admitted to last Saturday. 

The chancellor also alluded to comments from Iran’s foreign minister warning of an “appropriate and decisive” response if Germany supports more sanctions. “Provocations, interventionist and undiplomatic positions do not demonstrate maturity and wisdom,” Foreign Minster Hossein Amir-Abdollahian recently wrote on Twitter in response to comments from his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

“Iran’s Foreign Minister is said to have threatened Germany with consequences for this position and our actions. I can only say this to the leadership in Tehran: What kind of government does it make you if you shoot at your own citizens? Those who act in such a way must expect us to push back,” Scholz said. 

“My message to the demonstrators and the citizens with Iranian roots here in Germany is this: We stand for everything you are calling for — for human rights, for women’s rights, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people.”

Iran also summoned the German ambassador in Tehran earlier in the protests, seemingly accusing Berlin of helping them and of interference in internal affairs.

Could Iran’s protest movement pose a threat to the regime?

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msh/wmr (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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